This is an interesting trench art ash tray made from a British eighteen-pounder artillery shell. Trench art was created by soldiers from all WW I’s armies, when they had extra time on their hands in the trenches between battles. They took bits and pieces of gear and fashioned them into artistic objects. Some common examples were belt buckles converted into match safes, as well as jewelry and fashioned letter openers from shrapnel shards. These often-bored soldiers showed amazing creativity. A great deal of trench art also was created in hospitals as therapy for soldiers recovering from mild to severe wounds.
The shell stands 2 1/8.” Its edges are scalloped, allowing placement of a number of cigarettes. It is a larger caliber shell than the 77mm examples we are offering. It measures 100mm (10cm) in diameter. On the bottom are marks from the munitions factory that produced it. It is marked twice that it was produced in 1915. One mark advises that the shell was produced on 7 December 1915.