You may have noticed at Vint Condition I very rarely sell jewelry. While I tend to buy it for my own personal collection, I tend to stay away from it as a seller mostly because there are really fabulous and knowledgeable vintage and antique sellers who specialize in jewelry items. My collection is filled with pieces from my paternal great-grandmother and both grandmothers, lockets, modern beaded jewelry, and the amazing work of Lisa from tree & kimball.
In general, I don't collect much beyond vintage clothing, far too many shoes, and so many books that I'm pretty sure my house groans in protest whenever I add more, but lately I've been really interested in starting a collection of trench art rings. What are trench art rings, you ask? During times of war (and times waiting for war) soldiers made art and jewelry from whatever they had on hand. There's many examples of beautiful pieces created from cannonballs, shell casings, or even plaited pieces of straw.
Trench art rings in specific were often made from coins using the process you see here. Many of these rings also featured scratched on inscriptions detailing the year and place of the conflict or battle. The handiwork done on each of these rings means that they really are one of a kind pieces specific to the time and the individual creating them. They also invoke pieces of forgotten history as we often neglect to remember those who fought in various and lesser-known conflicts around the world or, in fact, even retain knowledge of those conflicts at all.
I've realized over time that even though military history was not my specialty in undergrad, I am interested in the physical remnants of those times. I can see this in the military jackets I own from my father and the military ring he bought me that I often wear. In yesterday's post you can see the army shirt I recently added to my collection and I'm certain that trench art rings are going to make their appearance on many gift lists in the future.