The French standard-issue cup went with the canteen, enabling soldiers to drink their rations of coffee, wine and water. This one was engraved by a soldier named Rollin, who left his signature to the left of the handle and added the legend “Baby factory – periscope of love”. The cup was a personal item that was often personalized by soldiers. In this case, the soldier reproduced pictures from a slightly racy postcard entitled “The periscope of love”, engraving the cup deftly with a sharp object.
The lack of any female contact and affection correlated with the emergence of erotic and sensual artistic production: racy engravings illustrate this craving for intimacy.
The personalization of this everyday object and the inscription “For my Jeanne for the new year 1917” on the base of the cup show that it was an intimate gift made for a cherished person, of particular sentimental value, expressing the dreams and fantasies of a long-awaited reunion.
“Fabrique des bébés – périscope de l’amour” cup, first quarter of the 20th century, metal, 6.5 x 12.5 cm. Inventory no.: 2006.1.959