WWI Russian Caucasus Campaign Rare Trench Art


A very interesting and rare piece of trench art from the Russian – Turkish Conflict, during WWI, in the Caucasus Campaign.

The item is a Russian 76.2 mm artillery shell case, that has been finely engraved with the names of the towns that were of significance to the recipient and the signatures of the officers of the unit. Given that the text is in old Russian, it has been difficult to decipher and more research is needed. We have been able to translate the towns of Batumi, Erge, Maradidi, Borcka, Artvin and Salalet. These are all on the border with Turkey and Georgia, near the Black Sea.

The four officer’s signatures are in rose gold applied expertly on to the brass of the shell case. This form of adornment was very popular with Russian officers, but it usually appears on cigarette cases and other small items. This is the first ever example we have seen on a piece of ordnance. As such it is quite unique and covers a campaign that has largely been forgotten. The base of the shell case has the date of 1905 and the factory and inspector’s marks. Condition is very good.

Size: 9 x 24.5 cm (3 ½ x 9 5/8 inches)
Weight: 1138 g