This pair of cartridges (the brass casing and the engraved steel bullet) is a particularly fine example of trench art, the type of handicrafts undertaken by soldiers during the war, usually to pass the time when waiting in the trenches. Paradoxically, it is a lethal object that has been used here to symbolise the love of two people.
Wording: “Antoine” on one and “Andrée” on the other
Material: engraved chased metalwork
Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 cm (L x d)
Acquisition: donation from Michel Jacquemin to the Comité National du Souvenir de Verdun in 2011
Inventory Nos.: 2011.14.2.1 and 2011.14.2.2
Locating the item in the museum
This piece of work is displayed in the area beneath the “battlefield”, a claustrophobic space that serves as a reminder of the discomfort of life in the trenches. In an area highlighting the hopes and terrors of the soldiers, the presence of modest objects made by the soldiers or worn close to their hearts during the fighting shows the extent to which the love of their nearest and dearest gave the men a reason to hope and to hold out.