enter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereenter image description hereI recently found two large brass casing, German made from 1901 and 1914.

They both have US military Divs ie. 2nd, 26th and 28th Div, along with cities in France and Germany that the Divisions were stationed in engraved on the side.

I have been able to match the history of the military divisions to many of the towns listed on each casing.

Has anyone come across these before?

Trying to find the significance of them, value, and if there were anyway to track down an individual that may have made them. Any help would be amazing.

  • Are you asking about the original intended use of these casings, or about their post-war repurposed existence as commemorative souvenirs? Aug 6 at 17:30
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    Just added photos. I would be curious if there was a way to track down the person that was in these divisions and visited these cities/towns. Also the value of any.
    – Michael
    Aug 7 at 19:41
  • I doubt they will have much value to anyone other than the original owner. Those are war trophies that have been engraved. You can guarantee that. They did not have that engraving on them before their use as that could cause catastrophic failure to the round. These were probably gifts given to an officer or high-ranking NCO after the war in remembrance of the battles they fought. I am skeptical that this is a German round, because of the king's crown, though. Online, the German shells do not have a crown. Neither do the British. I can't find what any other WWI artillery shells look like.
    – Jimmy G.
    Aug 8 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


Engraved shell casings like this are a relatively common type of trench art (The Imperial War Museum calls it "perhaps the most common", though most of the examples in their collection are more decorative than just a list of names). I have no idea what value they might have - probably more than nothing, but equally they are not particularly rare.

I think, first off, there is no chance of tracking down an individual who made them unless they happened to add their name somewhere. As the different actions listed sometimes took place concurrently, it is unlikely it represents one person who served with the divisions in turn, and it was probably produced after the armistice, given it shows 2nd Division as occupying Koblenz.

The casings themselves are definitely German. The first one with the crown has "Patronenfabrik Karlsruhe" stamped on it, one of the large German arsenals. (The Ke marking seems to be a quality check.) The second has "Karth", a German abbreviation for cartridge.

If you're able to get exact measurements we could probably work out what artillery piece they were for.

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