Ammunition as art ? 2


#1

Over the years I have bought many collection. Most collections have examples of what is usually called “Trench Art”. Most are 75mm French cases which say “VERDUN” or similar famous battle names. Most of this rworked ammo is not very well done BUT sitting in a trench with limited resources is certainly not the best way to create art.

Several years ago I started to categorize this kind of ammunition souvenir and displayed at the Maryland Arms Collectors Show at the Fairgrounds at Timonium. The display was well received with considerable interest and so I wrote articles for both the JOURNAL and “Shotgun News” which were also well received.

Some of the categories which I use are:

  1. TRENCH ART - this is actually made by soldiers as souvenirs of their service.
  2. PRESENTATION ART- these items are made from ammunition but are designed for presentation to make some special event.
  3. FUNCTIONAL ART- items designed for actual use rather than just for display.

I only collect what I call PEDIGREED AMMUNITION ART . This is material which has a connection to a specific person.

Here are a few of my favorites.

ALL ARE UNIQUE.


DOUBLE MOUNTED SET OF ISLAMIC DESIGNS EXECUTED IN SILVER AND COPPER WIRE. PRESENTED TO THE GERMAN FIELD MARSHALL COUNT KOLMAR von der GOLTZ BY THE TURKS TO COMMEMORATE THE DEFEAT OF THE BRITISH ARMY AT KUT al-AMARA APRIL 1916. ( made from German 75-1916 DATE and Austrian 75mm-1912 DATE Cases )

VON DER GOLTZ

KNIGHT’S CROSS PRESENTATION DOCUMENT HOLDER PRESENTED TO GERMAN SS GENERAL JOHANNES MUHLENKAMP . He commanded various SS divisions including WIKING and served as inspector of armor. The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.

BUD VASE FROM THE MUHLENKAMP ESTATE. This is also made from a Soviet 45mm AT gun case and is decorated with various SS division insignia. Gold SS Runes were removed after the war to sell for money for food. Slim pickings for some SS generals’ families after the war. The solder can still be seen where the gold runes were attached.

MUHLENKAMP

A SCHNAPPS DECANTER IN THE FORM OF AN 8.8CM HE SHELL PRESENTED TO FIELD MARSHALL ALBERT KESSELRING BY FUZE MAKER JUNGHANS. AT THE TIME HE WAS LEADING THE GERMAN AIR FLEET IN THE “BATTLE OF BRITAIN”.

HAPPY NEW YEAR 1941
ANTI POISON GAS SHELL


KESSELRING AND FRIENDS

A COUPLE OF BRITISH PIECES

MESS GONG FROM INDIA

I offered this for sale on ebay and had the auction killed- “dangerous weapon”. I told them that it was a GONG and they replied that they were correct as the case could be reused as a gun shell. ??? Any criminals and/or terrorists out there armed with 3 pounders?

NAMED MESS GONG. STRIKER IS MADE FROM THE HANDLE OF A RACKET TYPE GRENADE.

SOME US ITEMS

This US 6 pounder navy case was made by Chester Nimitz while he was a young submariner trainee at the New London Ct. Sub. school . He was later a 5 star admiral and commanded the US central Pacific operations in WW2 .

ADMIRAL CHESTER NIMITZ

This is one of my pieces from the estate of George Harry Rose- CONGRESSIONAL MEDAL of HONOR winner USN seaman for actions during hostilites in CHINA in June 1900 often called the “BOXER rebellion”. He was a hero in military and civillian life. He is burried at Arlington National Cemetery.

Stationed aboard the USS NEWARK he was part of a landing party which carried ammunition and medical supplies to American troops at Tientsin fighting against greater enemy forces and capturing the SIKU arsenal . He later became a commercial ship’s captain after retiring as a Lt. Commander from the navy and was credited with saving 83 Americans from a ship wreck in the Bahamas.

The shell is a 4 inch 50 US Navy deck gun type. It is decorated with dragons, roses and the Masoic symbol. It is over 3 feet long and is the largest piece of Masonic “trench art” known. NOTE THE 12 inch RULER along side.

JAPANESE

Artillery shell (75mm) urn attributed to General Shirakawa Yoshinori Commander in chief of Japanese forces in China. Killed by an assassin in Shanghai in 1932. The shell commemorates his service as minister of the army 1928.

白川義則
Shirakawa,Yoshinori



EXAMINING THE CLOTHES IN WHICH THE GENERAL WAS MURDERED.

General Yoshinori Shirakawa (白川 義則; 1869-1932)

1916 - 1919 Head of Personnel Bureau, Ministry of War
1919 - 1921 Commandant of the Military Academy
1922 - 1923 Vice-Minister of War
1923 Head of Army Aeronautical Bureau, Ministry of War
10 Oct 1923 - 28 Jul 1926 Commander of Kwangtung Army
25 Feb 1932 - 29 Apr 1932 Commander in Chief Shanghai Expeditionary Army, China
29 Apr 1932 was assassinated by Korean nationalist Yoon Bong-Gil and died on May 26.

There was a pair of these. I sold one to a collector in New York.


#2

Apparently you don’t see many pieces of British trench art with the individual soldier’s name on it as fired shell cases remained British government property. This meant soldiers making trenchart from them was technically illegal, so they did not want to be linked with it if they were caught with it.

I have quite a nice astray made from the base of a French 75mm case. It is engraved with poppies round the cut off case, and has a cigartte packet/matchbox holder supported on the middle on top of a fired 8mm Lebel case. The cigarette packet holder is engraved with “POELCAPELLE” over a poppy on one side, and “GOOD LUCK” over a (open end facing down so bad luck) horseshoe. The cigarette holder is pinned into the neck of the 8mm Lebel case with the solid copper lebel bullet, which has had its point hammered flat through a hole in the cigarette holder. The engraving looks far too delicate to have been made in a trench, but otherwise it is assembled very crudely, suggesting it could have been. The case is dated “17”. I got this at a junk sale for


#3

Great information, pics and collection. Some of that stuff is incredibly made, WOW! Really beautiful! It must have been a awesome display to see up close.


#4

[quote=“CSAEOD”]The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.
[/quote]

How does a German made case looks like? (head stamp)


#5

CSAEOD- Neat collection! Thanks for sharing!


#6

Wow, very cool stuff, especially the last two German pieces, real history!


#7

[quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”]The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.
[/quote]

How does a German made case looks like? (head stamp)[/quote]

The primer holes differ. Headstamp , of course , but no visible hs in this case. The Soviet case uses a small primer and the German one a much larger primer- obvious from the inside.


#8

Thank you - lots more to come.


#9

NEWS TO ME. “Apparently you don’t see many pieces of British trench art with the individual soldier’s name on it as fired shell cases remained British government property. This meant soldiers making trenchart from them was technically illegal, so they did not want to be linked with it if they were caught with it.”

I have British items and will post some when I get to them. The 18 pounder was very popular with “trenchers”. What I have seen most - French 75s, British 18 pdrs , German 77s in that order and of couse LOTS of FRENCH 37mms. Not so many US shell cases from WW1. I have owned 100+ of these and have seen over 1000. Most are not good but some are spectacular. I really like the Turkish types with precious metal inlay. One MAX show at Monroeville I had the opportunity to buy a German WW1 170mm field gun case all done in the Islamic silver- $500. Feeling cheap that day I passed. It was a mistake and the only piece of ammunition art which I regret buying.


#10

[quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”]The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.
[/quote]

How does a German made case looks like? (head stamp)[/quote]

The primer holes differ.[/quote]

Can you specify this? It is the same case with Finnish cases and German ones have never been found here. Nothing to say about the headstamp?


#11

[quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”]The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.
[/quote]

How does a German made case looks like? (head stamp)[/quote]

The primer holes differ.[/quote]

Can you specify this? It is the same case with Finnish cases and German ones have never been found here. Nothing to say about the headstamp?[/quote]

READ AGAIN


#12

In a time of piece I could see a solider not wanting to be linked with trench art that used “government property”. However, in the theater of combat of WW1 and WWII, I would think that would be of little concern to a Tommy. He was probably more concerned with the shells the enemy was sending his way.

I know when I was in the US Army we just about frisked every one leaving the ranges to ensure no one had any live ammo, shell casings, brass, pins, rings, spoons, ect… for the same reason, it belongs to Uncle Sam (he just sells it as scrap later). But some was always missed (I ended up with an M-60 belt once) so we had amnesty bags. Those came in handy ;-)

You have some very nice items CSAEOD, thanks for sharing.

Cheers,
Jason


#13

ALL FOR SALE SOON. COMING TO AN AUCTION NEAR YOU.


#14

[quote=“Falcon”]Apparently you don’t see many pieces of British trench art with the individual soldier’s name on it as fired shell cases remained British government property. This meant soldiers making trenchart from them was technically illegal, so they did not want to be linked with it if they were caught with it.

I have quite a nice astray made from the base of a French 75mm case. It is engraved with poppies round the cut off case, and has a cigartte packet/matchbox holder supported on the middle on top of a fired 8mm Lebel case. The cigarette packet holder is engraved with “POELCAPELLE” over a poppy on one side, and “GOOD LUCK” over a (open end facing down so bad luck) horseshoe. The cigarette holder is pinned into the neck of the 8mm Lebel case with the solid copper lebel bullet, which has had its point hammered flat through a hole in the cigarette holder. The engraving looks far too delicate to have been made in a trench, but otherwise it is assembled very crudely, suggesting it could have been. The case is dated “17”. I got this at a junk sale for


#15

NEW PHOTOS


#16

[quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”]The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.
[/quote]

How does a German made case looks like? (head stamp)[/quote]

The primer holes differ.[/quote]

Can you specify this? It is the same case with Finnish cases and German ones have never been found here. Nothing to say about the headstamp?[/quote]

Only the primer hole is no indication for being German made.

READ AGAIN[/quote]


#17

[quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”][quote=“EOD”][quote=“CSAEOD”]The case is a made from a captured Soviet 45mm AT gun case and a GERMAN manufactured 45mm case for the same gun.
[/quote]

How does a German made case looks like? (head stamp)[/quote]

The primer holes differ.[/quote]

Can you specify this? It is the same case with Finnish cases and German ones have never been found here. Nothing to say about the headstamp?[/quote]

Only the primer hole is no indication for being German made.

READ AGAIN[/quote][/quote]

Thank you for your opinion which is certainly welcome. Do you have any photos of the inside of the Finnish made 45mm cases which would demonstrate the inside of the primer hole? German ones are pretty obvious.

Since this thread is about art not primers you might want to start a primer ID thread to follow up on this subject.

Do you have any “art” to post ?


#18

Forget it. I have no interest in discussing this any further.


#19

Manufacturing differences can be quite obvious and I will be happy to pursue the matter in detail on an appropriate thread.


#20

new photos