Posted 8 years ago
Reference books are an essential part of any collector's knowledge and growth in their particular field of interest.
This 2004 book is a comprehensive study of Trench Art and does a fantastic job in presenting the historical context of trench art throughout history. The books covers about 400 pages and includes hundreds of illustrations as well as mountains of primary source material and original photographs that document the evolution, styles and construction of the TRENCH ART genre.
While the focus of the book is on WW1-- the "Golden Age of trench art", both earlier pieces and modern pieces are discussed and photographed.
Photo #1: Book cover along with the helmet that was the inpiration for an Operation Iraqi Freedom helmet that I have in my collection:
Photo #2: US soldiers constructing trench art.
Photo #3: Artillery shells with trench art decorations, along with a photo of a US 75mm in its defensive trench network.
Photo #4: Tobacco related trench art and an original photograph of a group of French soldiers identified as "At Rest: The making of cigarette lighters, as done in the trenches".
As an American Ambulance Driver, AEF Ambulance Company 161 wrote (published in the 1919 Unit history): "The brickets were patterned in forms of imitation books, French canteens, or were simple round convex disks inlaid by a French coin, or the pattern of the belt buckle design of the German soldier."
Here is an example of a lighter that would match that description:
If you have an appreciation for Trench Art, I cannot suggest more strongly that you have a look at this book. Most libraries should have it available for check out.
Hopefully, it will ingnite a passion in Trench Art-- the imaginative craftwork that turns war refuse into beautiful and utilitarian objects!