Headstamps to identifiy

Hello all,
I just acquired two shells and am puzzled by their headstamps- Second shell will be posted at second posting

201- Height is 9 1/2"- diameter 64mm of the outer rim of the headstamp. I have never seen those five circles nor this diamond shape symbol with two symetric “B” at 3 o’clock.

Your points of view would be very appreciated as I would like to document those shells properly on my website www.trenchartcollection.com and my public page on FB ww1 trench art collection
Sansaner

It is the logo used by Hotchkiss & Cie. and represent the initials of Benjamin Berkeley Hotchkiss (BHB).

Can you post a full picture of the case?

Regards,

Fede

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thanks for your prompt reply. Sure! here is the full picture


Sansaner

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Oops sorry, diameter at outer rim of headstamp is 75mm .
Sansaner

Thanks!

This is a riveted head cartridge case, the 5 circles are brass rivets holding the case head to the cartridge case. The cartridge case head in this instance is composed of a thin metal internal cup, a thin metal cartridge case, a thin metal outer cup and a heavy (thick) metal head. All of this is held together by the brass rivets.

An example of the makeup of a riveted head cartridge case is seen in the cross-sectional drawing shown below:

Brian

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Wow! Thanks for the explanation
Sansaner

Hotchkiss was also the owner of the 1874 patent.

Cartridge Case_004_1874.pdf (1.6 MB)

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Welcome to this Forum, Sansaner.
What a pity some creative mind made a vase from the shell…

Nice “Trench Art”.
Is there anything on the shell that might indicate who, where, and/or when it was done?

Good to learn. What do you think the caliber could be with an outer rim headstamp of 75mm. 3” 6pdr naval??

Hi BadgerJack
There is no decoration except the shape which looks pretty classic of Dirk Van Erp , a metalsmith who worked at Washington Naval Yard in Mare Island (San Francisco area) before WWI, and began to do “vases” with spent cartridges
Sansaner

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Hi duqjans, ahemm…I’ve got two hundred of those creative minds’ extrapolations!

Very interesting piece of trench art or perhaps better described as Arts and Crafts movement decorative art.

A 6 Pdr Hotchkiss used by the U.S. has the following dimensions:

57mm x 307mm (bore dia. x case length), rim diameter = 76mm & primer diameter = 12mm.

Do you have any other shell case artwork by Van Erp and would it be possible to see some photos?

Also I’m a bit confused as you mention Washington Navy Yard in San Francisco but Washington Navy Yard (WNY) is located in Washington D.C., could it just be Mare Island Naval Shipyard (MINSY) established in San Francisco in 1854?

A quick internet search indicates Van Erp was very prolific with his metalsmith art work, below are several links to an auction listing showing some of his work:

https://www.invaluable.com/artist/van-erp-dirk-t5fwwzhk6a/sold-at-auction-prices/

Thanks,

Brian

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Bdgreen, thanks for all those information. You are right, it is MINSY and I have an artwork from Dirk Van Erk of the same caliber a 6pdr .

Here is the picture. I’ll post the headstamp next as I am limited as a newcomer to one pic./a post
Sansaner

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Here is the headstamp of #122


I kind of guess it fi W. N. Y.
Sansaner

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Very nice piece! Thank you for posting the photos.

The letters “E.C.P.” on the headstamp are the initials of the WNY superintendent, which may have been Edward C. Pendleton. “E.A.A.” is the inspector initials.

Brian

Well, a pity indeed as we, at least this club I guess, like more the “original” stuff. But it seems quite possible your collection is much more valuable than the originals…

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I have NO idea, I don’t do field artillery, (was around that stuff too often in another life) nor naval battery stuff, I just like Trench Art, even if it is “fake” Trench Art. The time it took to do, and the imagination and artistic talent involved, blows my mind.

I agree with badger. We have to remember that these artillery “collector items” were laying around in the tens of thousands during the period most of the “Trench Art,” whether actually done by soldiers in the field to pass the time away or by factories selling “war souvenirs,” was made.

I personally prefer the ones that look to have been actually made by amateur artists, but most of the few examples I have were likely done in small factories.

My personal opinion is that this is an absolutely true, and interesting, art form. These souvenir items are not limited just to images worked into the brass. There are many examples of small knives made, for example, from 7 x 57 mm cases and bullets, and then engraved with various “captions” on the side of the case. I have a stamp for impressing the wax seal on documents or envelopes using a cartridge case for the handle, and a cigarette lighter made from a rifle case. I have a couple of 7.9 Mauser cases made into pencils - actually, I should say they are made to look like 7.9 Mauser cartridges, but actually made purposed for that use, one of which commemorates the German - Austro-Hungarian Alliance in WWI, as I recall. Those might not qualify as “trench art,” but rather as “commemorative cartridges,” but who cares? They are along the same lines.

Interesting stuff as a side line to any cartridge collecting!

John Moss

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