I've been gifted this vase that is obviously made out of a large shell casing. It has 'MARZ 1917' stamped on the bottom, plus other less understandable markings: 'St', 'G', '36', 'HL 25'. I'm attaching a photo, of course.

The diameter of the largest part at the bottom is 90 mm, i don't have a caliper but by measuring the 'lip' i think the actual tube is 80-82 mm wide at the bottom and 76-77 mm at the top (it's been deformed by the beautification process).

It's not a matter of life and death, but it would be fun if someone could shed more light on what those markings say.

Thank you!

Bottom with markings

Side view

  • I've recently found one myself whilst digging a footing for an extension in West Molesley. Same details except mine is date Sept 1917. Looks like someone brought one back from the war and it got lost in the garden. Its taking pride of place on my shelf. link to dropbox file with pictures. Commented Nov 7, 2020 at 15:52

2 Answers 2


What you have is a casing from a 77mm German field artillery piece, possibly like this: enter image description here Some of the stamps:

  • St: Strengthened case
  • HL: Haniel Luege Düsseldorf (brass factory)
  • 25: Inspection Mark

not sure yet on the G(may indicate maker Geschossfabrik), and 36 may be lot number. März 1917, of course, would be the date.

some sites to look:

  • That will lead to another evening of reading references for fun. Thank you!
    – Torp
    Commented Apr 27, 2017 at 16:08

Just adding a little detail, it is MÄRZ 1917 (A with umlaut), the two dots over the A are a part of the text and not an accident.

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