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World War II Trench Art

World War II was fought in a rapid, constantly moving manner driven by the technology at the time. There was little trench warfare outside of defensive positions; however, the term trench art generally applies to any art made by soldiers fighting in a war. One of the facts of life in a war is that soldiers live a life of long stretches of boredom punctuated by swift moments of violence. This leaves soldiers with idle hands, and the artistically-minded put them to good use.

World War II trench art varies among the different campaigns, soldiers, and military branches. World War II trench art includes drawings, paintings, and engravings, as well as hand-crafted metal statues and decorated cannon shells.


Quick Facts

  • Trench art was often made by wounded soldiers, as doctors would encourage soldiers to create to aid in the recovery process
  • One popular form of trench art was knitting because soldiers could make something as practical as it is artistic
  • POWs on both sides of the war would often create art they could trade for food, money, and privileges

Recommended Items at Auction

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(3) WWII Trench Art Bomber Planes
Jun 22, 9:30 AM EDT
(3) WWII Trench Art Bomber Planes
by Old Barn Auction
Est: $40- $1,000
$201 Bid
BRASS TRENT ART LAMP
Jun 09, 10:30 AM EDT
BRASS TRENT ART LAMP
by Farrin's country Auctions
Est: $0- $0
$200 Bids
WW2 Trench art lamp dated 1941 & Antique milatary hand pump clear markings  
May 25, 10:00 AM AEST
WW2 Trench art lamp dated 1941 & Antique milatary hand pump clear markings  
by David G Smith Auctions
Est: AUD280- AUD550
AUD1400 Bids
WW2 Australian New Guinea track connection trench art. Unit marked,2/8th
May 25, 10:00 AM AEST
WW2 Australian New Guinea track connection trench art. Unit marked,2/8th
by David G Smith Auctions
Est: AUD330- AUD600
AUD1600 Bids
World War Brass Artillery Shell Trench Art Vases
May 29, 12:00 PM EDT
World War Brass Artillery Shell Trench Art Vases
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
WW2 British RAF Trench Art Ash Tray made from the piston from a 133mm in diameter. Height 80mm.
Jun 11, 10:00 AM BST
WW2 British RAF Trench Art Ash Tray made from the piston from a 133mm in diameter. Height 80mm.
by Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd
Est: £30- £40
£300 Bids
(5) FRENCH WWII-ERA ARTILLERY SHELL TRENCH ART VASES
Jun 08, 10:00 AM CDT
(5) FRENCH WWII-ERA ARTILLERY SHELL TRENCH ART VASES
by Austin Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $200
$800 Bids
WWII - Australia Wooden Trench Art Hudson Bomber Plane
Jun 02, 12:00 PM AEST
WWII - Australia Wooden Trench Art Hudson Bomber Plane
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD75- AUD100
AUD500 Bids
WWII - Australia Trench Art '55 Calibre Bullet' Table Lighter
Jun 02, 12:00 PM AEST
WWII - Australia Trench Art '55 Calibre Bullet' Table Lighter
by Smalls Auctions
Est: AUD115- AUD135
AUD750 Bids
WW2 Japanese Trench Art Shells In Good Condition
May 25, 10:00 AM AEST
WW2 Japanese Trench Art Shells In Good Condition
by David G Smith Auctions
Est: AUD120- AUD450
AUD600 Bids
DECORATED TRENCH ART SHELL CASING-VASE
May 30, 5:00 PM IDT
DECORATED TRENCH ART SHELL CASING-VASE
by The Bidder
Est: $60- $80
$350 Bids

Sellers Who Sell World War II Trench Art


Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

Bamfords Auctioneers and Valuers Ltd

David G Smith Auctions

David G Smith Auctions

Smalls Auctions

Smalls Auctions

Austin Auction Gallery

Austin Auction Gallery