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Official issue World War I Rosary

ROSARIES: Official issue WWI rosaries were made to be durable.  They were constructed of “pull chain” designed metal balls. Nearly indestructible, they were carried by our soldiers to battle.


BULLET CRUCIFIXES: The religious beliefs that were carried forth found physical expression in these "bullet crucifixes." These items were often carried by soldiers of the German and French armies, who managed to make them from captured German equipment, such as ammunition cartridges, a German belt-buckle center, and a figure of Christ (the latter was usually obtained from company chaplains). Soldiers often associated these miniatures with miraculous survival; some achieved mythic status among them. 

Some of the crucifixes did not have stands and that often indicates that a soldier would simply carry it in his field pack and then push it into the mud or dirt by his trench or foxhole. These are crudely done, but is still a good example of this trench crucifix. The buckle front proclaims “Gott mit Uns,” meaning, “God with us!”

Creation of trench art picked up momentum during World War I and continued into World War II. By this time, the term “trench art” was used not only to describe the souvenirs crafted by solders, but also those produced by military service personnel.


Mortar Shell Vase

MORTAR SHELL VASE: a Mortar Shell Vase made from a mortar shell bearing the Cross of Lorraine. The Cross of Lorraine, of the eponymous region of France, is the symbol of freedom in France. The 79th Infantry Division of the Untied States Army, made up primarily of draftees from Maryland and Pennsylvania, earned the title “Cross of Lorraine” for their defense of France during World War I.


WWI Bullet Crucifix, with stand


Bullet Crucifix without stand

Pocket Shrines


A. Our Lady of Lourdes pocket shrine. Zinc and brass.

B. Saint Anne and Mary pocket shrine. Brass.

C. Queen of Heaven pocket shrine. At the base of the statue there is an inscription from Proverbs 8:17:  “Ego diligentes me diligo et qui mane vigilant ad me inveniant me.” This latin proverb translates to,  “I love those who love me and those who seek me in the morning find me.” 

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