Early into World War I, the French press published illustrations of objects made by the “craftsmen of the trenches”. Items were called “Trench Art” and the label stuck and continues to be used to describe pieces created from spent war materials or from items of military equipment. Items meant to kill other humans were recycled into amazing folk art pieces.
Soldiers have always collected war souvenirs. Some of the items in these cases were crafted by soldiers but many were made by towns people to be sold to soldiers as souvenirs.
Items showcases are mostly the artillery shells that were used by the millions in this war. Some are French and American 75MM while others are German 77MM shells. There are also smaller shells. Each is completely hand made. There are town names, patriotic themes, birds, flowers, portraits and almost anything you could think of.