Pair of Trench Art
This beautiful pair of trench art vases are
decorated with the Cross of Lorraine (Croix
de Lorraine) and with sprigs of Holly (Houx).
Creating decorative objects from weapons of
war as mementos or souvenirs is a practice that
is probably as old as warfare itself. In recent
years, this form of art has become highly collectible
and is frequently called "Trench Art"
because of the marvelous works created during
WWI by soldiers passing long, fearful hours
in the dangerous trenches along the front lines.
Decorated brass shells or artillery cases (French:
obus) such as those shown on these pages
were a popular and plentiful base material used
soldiers -both during the WWI and afterwards
-- to create vases and othr objects. The Mementos
often commemorate battles they fought in, remember
fallen comrades, or celebrate the end of war
and the arrival of peace. Many such pieces are
done in a late art nouveau style.
Technique: Repoussé Brass
Repoussé - a method often used to create
Trench Art vases -- is a technique of creating
a design in relief by hammering or pushing the
reverse side of a metal surface.
Symbolism of the Cross of Lorraine
The Cross of Lorraine is the heraldic symbol
of the Lorraine region of France, site of some
of the most devastating battles of WWI. Originally
it represented a reliquary containing a portion
of the true cross and was used by the Dukes
During WWII, Charles de Gaulle chose the Cross
of Lorraine as the symbol of the French resistance.
Since the early 20th Century the symbol has
also been used to signify the battle against
tuberculosis and other lung diseases - One explanation
for this is the poison gas used during WWI,
especially in the border regions between France
and Germany such as Lorraine.
9 inches ( 23 cm) high
Learn More About Trench Art