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WW1 Trench Art Shrapnel letter opener with engraved blade

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    Posted 8 years ago

    (877 items)

    This 11" long piece of battlefield shrapnel was worked into a beautiful souvenir letter opener.

    The clip point blade has been polished smooth, plated and then engraved on each side.

    One side bears a monument/ "L.G." with a cross at the top and lions at the base-- the coat of arms for the city of Liege, Belgium.

    The other side bears the date of 1914 along with the initials "J.M.T."-- probably the maker.

    The intricate engraving really sets this example apart from the typical shrapnel piece.



    1. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Thanks vetraio.
    2. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Thanks Convair.
    3. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Thank you Finelines.
    4. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Link to bk's posting of another letter opener by the same maker:
    5. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 8 years ago
      This is truly magnificent! Of what metal is the blade fashioned, and what might the soldier have used to fashion the blade design? This is a fascinating piece - can you tell us any more about it? Thank you. miKKo
    6. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      The shrapnel is steel. The blade was not added to the shrapnel, it is a worked and polished from ONE PIECE.

      I would think that "JMT" was an enterprising craftsman and not necessarily a soldier. Although, there are letter openers (and other items) with just as elaborate engraving that are documented to soldiers and even POWs shown in Kimballs book on Trench Art.

    7. miKKoChristmas11 miKKoChristmas11, 8 years ago
      Magnificent! Thank you so much for your enlightening comments. I was thinking that this was exceptional engraving. At first glimpse of the photo, I thought that it might be the work of an fine silversmith, then I saw the handle and wondered if our honored 'resident' silversmith had found another battered treasure that he had rescued. (These were just snatches of perception - funny how the mind works.) Anyway, magnificent piece!
    8. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Thanks for your interest mikko!

    9. scottvez scottvez, 8 years ago
      Thanks tom.

    10. scottvez scottvez, 7 years ago
      Link to another shrapnel letter opener that I just posted today:

    11. robertpaal, 6 years ago
      I can tell you that LG is the initial of a town in belgium Liège. I think but I'm not sure that this opener letter (or paper knife) was made in the arms factory shool of this town ("École d'armurie de Liège, Léon Mignon", "Rue Léon Mignon"). This school was, and still is, known worldwide for its weapons, and engravings on weapons, letter openers, paper cutting, military sword, and more.
    12. scottvez scottvez, 2 years ago
      Thanks much bucket and rockbat.


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