TRENCH ART – ARTILLERY SHELL CASING – 75MM – FRANCE.
This is a brass artillery shell casing from a French 75mm canon. The French 75mm was the most common WW I French artillery piece. They were very effective. A well-trained crew could fire the shells in very rapid succession. Shell casings were used by French and German soldiers to make a number of useful items for use at the home front. These items were fashioned by soldiers at the front during their spare time. They were also fashioned by wounded soldiers recuperating in hospitals. These shell casings were fashioned into any number of useful items, such as vases, bowls, ashtrays, etc. This example stands 13.75” tall. It measures 75mm at the rim and at the base. Although this is a French shell, a feature makes me feel that a German soldier decorated it. The exterior detail is quite elaborate, including a great deal of scroll work and a bird. The most exciting and interesting exterior detail is the date 1907 at the bottom. Of even more interest is a central panel that portrays a camel, a lion, and perhaps a mosque. This puzzles me.
Somebody spent a lot of time etching all of this work. It is one of the more distinctive shell casings we have offered.