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World War 1 Trench Art

Discussion in 'Gadgets & Gear' started by Jack Black, Sep 16, 2012.

  1. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    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?

    [​IMG]


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Dec 29, 2012
  2. Sufler

    Sufler Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    "Absolutely awesome" is all I can come up with. The history in this thing. Congratulations!
     
  3. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Thanks Sufler, I hope it's appreciated.

    :)

    Jack
     
  4. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    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.

    [​IMG]
     
  5. shadow93

    shadow93

    77
    Nov 11, 2011
    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. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    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. Gollnick

    Gollnick Musical Director

    Mar 22, 1999
    That's enough Brasso. Switch to Renaissance Wax to finish up and protect the brass.
     
  8. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Thanks :)
     
  9. jds1

    jds1 Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 9, 2007
    Great pieces, thanks for sharing.

    Jeff
     
  10. Sufler

    Sufler Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    Jack,

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

    Get the gift person an Opinel or something.

    :thumbup:
     
  11. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    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 :D

    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. Sufler

    Sufler Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    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!

    :thumbup:
     
  13. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    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. Sufler

    Sufler Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 15, 2005
    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.
    :thumbup:
     
  15. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    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 :D)! When I do acquire some more pieces I'll be sure to post pics :)

    :thumbup:
     
  16. AKC

    AKC Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 10, 2010
    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.
    [​IMG]

    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....
     
  17. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    Wow AKC, that's incredible. Do you know anything about the original provenance of the shell-case?
     
  18. AKC

    AKC Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 10, 2010
    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....
     
  19. Jack Black

    Jack Black Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2005
    It's been beautifully made :)
     
  20. Dago Red

    Dago Red

    753
    Jun 16, 2008
    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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