Trench Art Vases

Pair of Trench Art Vases


This beautiful pair of trench art vases are decorated with the Cross of Lorraine (Croix de Lorraine) and with sprigs of Holly (Houx).


Trench Art

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 of Anjou.

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




Search by Style
Interior Decorating and Gift Ideas
Contact Village Antiques for Prices or More Information