Engraved shell-cases, bullet-crucifixes, letter openers and cigarette lighters made of shrapnel and cartridges, miniature airplanes and tanks, talismanic jewelry, embroidery, objects carved from stone, bone and wood – all of these things are trench art, the misleading name given to the dazzling array of objects made from the waste of war, in particular the Great War of 1914-1918 and the inter-war years. And they are the subject of Nicholas Saunders’s pioneering study which is now republished in a revised edition in paperback. He reveals the lost world of trench art, for every piece relates to the story of the momentous experience of its maker – whether front-line soldier, prisoner of war, or civilian refugee. The objects resonate with the alternating terror and boredom of war, and those created by the prisoners symbolize their struggle for survival in the camps. Many of these items were poignant souvenirs bought by battlefield pilgrims between 1919 and 1939 and kept brightly polished on mantelpieces, often for a lifetime. Nicholas Saunders investigates their origins and how they were made, exploring their personal meaning and cultural significance. He also offers an important categorization of types which will be a useful guide for collectors.
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Dr Nicholas Saunders is an expert in archaeology/Review:
This is not a catalogue of the different types of 'Trench Art' available to the collector. Nicholas Saunders has taken a more academic approach to the subject, looking into the reasons for the 'Trench Art' in the first place, as well as suggesting methods of classification rather than just by type of item. Covering methods, location and era of manufacture this is a book not only for the 'Trench Art' collector and 'militaria' buff, but also for anyone with an interest in the social history of the period 1914-1939. Written in an easy style, with many superb photos this book is sure to become a definitive work on the subject. --By Nicholas J. Ofield
In this book Nicholas Saunders has answered most, if not all, of my questions on this subject. He has exhaustively researched this much ignored field of militaria and the book includes some astounding photographic records of trench art being crafted 'in the field' and even contemporary adverts for having your 'souvenirs of the war' professionally mounted etc ! This is the first book exclusively on the subject, and for such excellent pioneering work, Mr Saunders must be applauded - this book can only help to promote the subject to new collectors and will provide an invaluable boost in knowledge to all but the most experienced trench art collectors. While this book stops short of offering anything but the broadest values for categories of trench art, as a reference it is worth it's weight in gold. If you collect trench art, or are simply interested in the First World War, this book is a must - buy it !! --By Mr J Gordon-Cumming
Over the last decade or so Dr Saunders has not only focused on an area which had hitherto been largely neglected, but has made the subject of trench art very much his own. This little book is particularly nice being an especially good and colourful example in the Shire series. The photos are good quality, clear, relevant, and well selected. This book is positioned ideally for the likely market and is well written and informative - I read it in a single sitting and came away much enlightened even though I had already been interested in trench art for quite some time. This soft back is 48 pages with the better part of 100 illustrations. Any problems ? Not really but a couple of minor corrections might be suggested. For example (P 14) the making of shell case trench art was not always illegal, many shell cases were sold out of service and marked accordingly. These then became the property of whoever had purchased them and the new owner could then make whatever he wanted with them. A couple of shell heads (pp 20-21) are described as 'shell cases'. --By Stephen Bull
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Book Description Pen and Sword, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Brand New!. Bookseller Inventory # VIB1848846371
Book Description Pen and Sword, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111848846371
Book Description Pen and Sword, 2011. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Second Edition. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1848846371