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Thread: World War 1 Trench Art

  1. #1
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    World War 1 Trench Art


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    I thought some of you guys might like a peek at this, I bought it as a present for someone yesterday. It's a heavy brass candlestick-holder made from an empty shell-case in a trench in 1916. Unfortunately I only have a mediocre camera here, and I've run out of Brasso, but I thought I'd post a couple of pics. Maybe others own other examples of trench art they'd like to share?




    Last edited by Jack Black; 12-29-2012 at 04:57 PM.

  2. #2
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    "Absolutely awesome" is all I can come up with. The history in this thing. Congratulations!

  3. #3
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    Thanks Sufler, I hope it's appreciated.



    Jack

  4. #4
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    My maternal grandfather was stationed overseas for years during World War 2. He was a very handy guy, and like many servicemen then, whenever he could would send back stuff fashioned out of whatever scrap he could find for my mother and grandmother (along with parachute silk for dresses, as fabric was strictly rationed). Many British troops made small Spitfires out of small coins. I don't have one of the originals, but this is one my grandfather made for me when he was getting old in 1971. The edges of the wings are usually rounded, but as we'd just got the new 'decimal' currency, he left them like this, so you could see it had been made from one of the 'new' 2 pence coins.


  5. #5
    Wow is really all I can say. Both of those pieces are amazing. I love history like that. If those things could talk it would be amazing what stories objects like those could tell.

  6. #6
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    I think stuff like this is just priceless. Somewhat off topic, but about seven years ago I got a garden bench I'm very proud of. It was made just over 100 years ago from teak taken from a ship that was captured at the Battle of Trafalgar. The initials of the manufacturer are carved into the rear of the legs and it has a small metal plaque bearing the name of the ship (HMS Berwick). Incredibly I found it dumped somewhere!

  7. #7
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    That's enough Brasso. Switch to Renaissance Wax to finish up and protect the brass.
    Balisongs -- because it don't mean a thing if it ain't got that swing!
    http://www.balisongcollector.com


  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gollnick View Post
    That's enough Brasso. Switch to Renaissance Wax to finish up and protect the brass.
    Thanks

  9. #9
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    Great pieces, thanks for sharing.

    Jeff
    Proud Supporter of JK Knives

  10. #10
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    Jack,

    I think I'd end up keeping the candelstick holder.

    Get the gift person an Opinel or something.


  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufler View Post
    Jack,

    I think I'd end up keeping the candelstick holder.

    Get the gift person an Opinel or something.

    I'm thinking hard about it Sufler I must admit!

    I bought it as a wedding present for a couple I know who decided to get married. They've lived together for years, have an established home, and I don't know them THAT well. I got invited to the Reception. I know the guy better than his bride, and thought he'd like this. He's not a knife fan particularly. If I get time today, I might go and look for a nice decanter

    Also might go and have another look in the antique shop where I bought the piece, they had a small coal scuttle made from a larger shell case. It's a small coal scuttle and I've got central heating, money's also tight at the moment, but I might have another look...

  12. #12
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    Yeah. In my eyes... that's a very "specialty" gift. They may or may not appreciate it. Why take the chance? Keep it! Get them something that they can both enjoy and be more useful/utilitarian. A decanter definitely sounds like a good idea.

    Let us know what you decide doing!


  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sufler View Post
    Yeah. In my eyes... that's a very "specialty" gift. They may or may not appreciate it. Why take the chance? Keep it! Get them something that they can both enjoy and be more useful/utilitarian. A decanter definitely sounds like a good idea.

    Let us know what you decide doing!

    Yeah, I've decided to take your advice Sufler. I quite often buy people I don't know that well gifts they don't really appreciate, or at least don't view in the same way as myself. I bought the girlfriend of a friend a beautiful handmade skean dhu a few years ago, for example, and I shouldn't have bothered. So I'm keeping this!

    I had a look at the other pieces they had in the shop again. They'd bought a whole collection. There were three different coal-skuttles left, but they're three times the price I paid for the candlestick-holder. There were also a couple of large brass shell-cases from 1915, not quite so interesting, but the larger one might be OK for an umbrella/walking stick stand. I'm definitely going to look out for more trench art in future, just wish I had more of the stuff my grandfather made in WW2. Thanks for the advice and glad everyone likes the pics

    All the best

    Jack

  14. #14
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    Jack,

    I've caught myself doing that too some years back - buying gifts, unfortunately, based (maybe subconsciously) more on my tastes. I guess I was trying to let the other people enjoy what I enjoyed. No go.

    I'll guess the candle-stick holder will do you good for a while. When "disposable income" becomes a bit more available, I'm sure the shop will have something "new" that you'll just have to snap up.

    Congrats on the keeper!

    Best.

  15. #15
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    Thanks again Sufler. I'm due to move house this year and am supposed to be getting rid of stuff rather than acquiring it (fat chance )! When I do acquire some more pieces I'll be sure to post pics


  16. #16
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    This came into my friends shop in a box of other military memorabilia. He wasn't really interested in it. Gave it to me, and it's been in the garden/fountain/yard ever since. An obviously talented individual with rudimentary tools, the piercings are plainly done with a nail. The picture probably doesn't catch all the detail. It's quite nice with a tealight going inside....
    A shell casing.


    It can be difficult to imagine such a destructive item being turned into a thing of serenity and joy. I can't think of a more ironic repurposing.
    I've seen quite a bit of amazing and imaginative works....
    Alena a me Aleka pu'i ka'wa pau'ole
    ...on the quest to finding my navel...

  17. #17
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    Wow AKC, that's incredible. Do you know anything about the original provenance of the shell-case?

  18. #18
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    I'm sorry, I don't. It's been far too heavily worked to guess, and there's no base. It is a 3.5" casing....
    Alena a me Aleka pu'i ka'wa pau'ole
    ...on the quest to finding my navel...

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by AKC View Post
    I'm sorry, I don't. It's been far too heavily worked to guess, and there's no base. It is a 3.5" casing....
    It's been beautifully made

  20. #20
    That is cool, especially the candlestick holder, obviously they had to keep themselves busy in the down time. amazing what a guy with time can do even with limited materials and poor tools.

    Red

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