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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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American Military Mortar Shell Trench Art Trophy
Nov 17, 12:00 PM EST
American Military Mortar Shell Trench Art Trophy
by Hill Auction Gallery
Est: $100- $1,000
$500 Bids
Three various WWII brass shell casings (3)
Nov 07, 12:00 PM AEDT
Three various WWII brass shell casings (3)
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD10- AUD20
AUD100 Bids
Selection, Trench art brass vase, epergne base, hard stone piece etc
Oct 31, 9:30 AM AEDT
Selection, Trench art brass vase, epergne base, hard stone piece etc
by Vickers & Hoad
Est: AUD40- AUD60
AUD300 Bids
WW2 TRENCH ART DESK SHELL LIGHTER
Nov 07, 9:00 AM MDT
WW2 TRENCH ART DESK SHELL LIGHTER
by Davis Brothers Auction
Est: $25- $50
$100 Bids
WWII military made officer's trench art pointer
Nov 08, 11:30 PM EST
WWII military made officer's trench art pointer
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $175- $200
$1250 Bids
Heavy solid brass Trench Art ash tray WWII
Nov 08, 11:30 PM EST
Heavy solid brass Trench Art ash tray WWII
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $250- $275
$1250 Bids

Sellers Who Sell World War II Trench Art


Vickers & Hoad

Vickers & Hoad

Theodore Bruce

Theodore Bruce

Hill Auction Gallery

Hill Auction Gallery