Trash to Treasure

One day years before I was Trench Art Vaseborn, my dad was on his way home from work. There on the side of the road, on top of a trash pile, was something tall and shiny. His curiosity was piqued and he stopped the car! He figured since it was trash, he could claim it!

The object was something he had only heard about from the old timers…the men of his father’s generation…the men who had fought in “the war to end all wars”. My dad had found an old WW I brass cannon shell casing that had been transformed into a sculpted vase. This kind of craftsmanship is known as trench art. The soldiers had long spans of time between campaigns and they often filled that time in the trenches with artistic projects. The crafted items were often sent home or taken home by the soldiers as souvenirs of their war days.

We have thoroughly researched our 13″ vase and find it to be one of the most beautiful and detailed items of trench art. The markings on the bottom indicate the weapon was made in 1907.trench art

Could the vase have been made by a European villager? If not, who was the soldier craftsman?  Was the vase sent home? Did the soldier survive the war? How did this treasure end up thrown on the trash pile? We have no answers but I do know I’m glad the glimmer of brass caught my dad’s attention!

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3 Responses to Trash to Treasure

  1. Ruth Packard says:

    To my readers…the photo of the vase does not show correctly on an iPad. 😦


  2. So beautiful and such a tie to the past. Being in the trenches must have been scary and boring both. Thanks for sharing this. I love historical objects that tell us about life in the past. My favorite and practically only keepsake is a sugar cone cutter. Maybe one day I’ll photograph it and write a post about it.


    • Ruth Packard says:

      Oh, you should post your sugar cone cutter! I did not know what it is until looking it up. Fascinating history…but now I’m curious as to what kind you have!

      Thanks for reading and commenting!


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