German storm trooper (Sturmsoldat), Germany, 1918
These shell casings bear witness to how the collective consciousness of soldiers was forged during the war, revealing how omnipresent women were. Most often, the scenes engraved on shell casings were patriotic, sentimental, humorous, or even erotic.
Here, they also represent another sphere: that of fashion, one of the preoccupations of soldiers as it represented a changing society at the rear. When they returned home on leave, soldiers were often struck by changing fashions and new styles of dress: shorter skirts, new styles and, more generally, simpler female silhouettes.
These shell casings were produced by soldiers in the trenches during long hours of waiting, inspired by the cartoonish style of the illustrations in the satirical newspapers that circulated on the frontline. On one side of the casing, a woman lifts her dress to reveal her undergarments, while on the other side, a woman prepares to throw a bottle.
Pair of shell casings, first quarter of the 20th century, brass, H. 31 cm, legs. Danzé. Inventory no.: CE2011.1.17