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LIGHTER/DESK PIECE – BULLET TIPS AND A BRASS SHELL

SKU: 24-27

$175.00

This most interesting desk piece actually fits into two genres. First it definitely fits into the area of desk pieces that were VERY popular during the Imperial period and especially during the war. But it would also fit into the area of trench art. Whether it was made in the trenches at the front or in a hospital while a man was recovering from wounds, it definitely fits the type and general description of those items that were considered trench art. Its primary makeup comes from articles that one would easily find at the front. We start with a square brass base that measures 3″ x 3″. Through the four corners extend the tips or projectile portion of four bullets. As we look underneath at the base, we can see where the brass shell casings have been shortened and fluted to make four “feet” for this arrangement to stand on with steadily. Attached to the top of the base is a partial larger shell casing that I would estimate to be a 20mm shell. Attached to the top of this are the lighter mechanicals. One can see the wheel that you would have turned to cause the flint to strike and ignite the fluid. The tip of another, larger bullet is at the very top of the larger shell casing. It is removed to reveal a wick, where the lighter would have ignited. If you ever did attempt to use this as a lighter (which I would not recommend due to its age), some time would need to be spent rehabilitating the mechanism, since it is frozen from age. What I really find interesting about this piece, aside from the time and thought that went into it, is the overall quality of its workmanship. Also, there is a small badge attached to the front of the shell casing that tells us that this was a Christmas gift for 1916 in the field. This entire item has character of the like that we do not often see in professionally-made items.


Description

This most interesting desk piece actually fits into two genres. First it definitely fits into the area of desk pieces that were VERY popular during the Imperial period and especially during the war. But it would also fit into the area of trench art. Whether it was made in the trenches at the front or in a hospital while a man was recovering from wounds, it definitely fits the type and general description of those items that were considered trench art. Its primary makeup comes from articles that one would easily find at the front. We start with a square brass base that measures 3″ x 3″. Through the four corners extend the tips or projectile portion of four bullets. As we look underneath at the base, we can see where the brass shell casings have been shortened and fluted to make four “feet” for this arrangement to stand on with steadily. Attached to the top of the base is a partial larger shell casing that I would estimate to be a 20mm shell. Attached to the top of this are the lighter mechanicals. One can see the wheel that you would have turned to cause the flint to strike and ignite the fluid. The tip of another, larger bullet is at the very top of the larger shell casing. It is removed to reveal a wick, where the lighter would have ignited. If you ever did attempt to use this as a lighter (which I would not recommend due to its age), some time would need to be spent rehabilitating the mechanism, since it is frozen from age. What I really find interesting about this piece, aside from the time and thought that went into it, is the overall quality of its workmanship. Also, there is a small badge attached to the front of the shell casing that tells us that this was a Christmas gift for 1916 in the field. This entire item has character of the like that we do not often see in professionally-made items.

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