Tuesday, September 25, 2018

20 of: Trench Art

Whilst watching an episode of Bargain Hunt on Youtube, an example of “trench art” came up. This particular item was a spent ship’s shell (try saying that quickly) with the names of the sailors of that ship carved into the brass. I mentioned to Kate that trench art was usually more elaborate (I did a post on this some years ago, as I recall), here are some comments and pics . . . 
Trench art is any decorative item made by soldiers, prisoners of war, or civilians where the manufacture is directly linked to armed conflict or its consequences. It offers an insight not only to their feelings and emotions about the war, but also their surroundings and the materials they had available to them.  
Not limited to the World Wars, the history of trench art spans conflicts from the Napoleonic Wars to the present day. Although the practice flourished during World War I, the term 'trench art' is also used to describe souvenirs manufactured by service personnel during World War II. Some items manufactured by soldiers, prisoners of war or civilians during earlier conflicts have been retrospectively described as trench art.  


Shell casings on the roadside near the front lines, WWI 

Pair of shell cases with the names of two French villages totally destroyed and not rebuilt later 

A shell case embossed with an image of two wounded Tommies approaching the White Cliffs of Dover 

Chromed metal trench art ashtray made from a 25 pounder shell casing, 1942 

Turkish tobacco jar made from the lower part of a German cartridge, 1914 

Bullet crucifix, WW1 

Trench art jug created by a sapper in the Royal Engineers whilst he was manning an underground telephone exchange in the Ypres district during the First World War. The jug was made from a British 18-pounder Mark II brass shell case. 

Decorated shell casings, WW 1 

Part of a collector’s display of trench art 

Carved brass mortar shell vases depicting a young couple wearing traditional Lorraine or Alsace costumes with matching floral decorations. France, WW1. 

WW1 Australian AIF Trench Art tankard, made 1916-1918 

Collection of trench art military caps from WW1 made from cartridge cases.

WW1 Period trench art desk stand with two ink wells, decorated with shells, bombs and bullets. 

P-38 metal airplane model ashtray, trench art Australia WWII with kangaroo 

A collection of trench art knives and letter openers 

WW1 Imperial German trench art letter opener 

Early WW1 era trench art inkwell, dated for 1916. 

Trench art sweetheart jewellery pin from WW2 

1941 trench art shell case, Nazi German Eagle Iron Cross, 1941

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