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Sand Pebbles Era Trench Art?


Dirk
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So what do I have here. I recently picked this item off eBay because I thought was interesting- a 50 caliber round that has been decorated and possibly chromed. On one side there is an engraving that says "Nanking 1937" and in the other a Naval Eagle with anchors. The head stamp notes the round was manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal, 1926. There is some other fine decorative scroll work just below the neck of the casing and under magnification dents, chips and rub marks. The style of some of the details found in the engraving mirrors Chinese engraved silver I have in my collection. Of course we know the gunboat USS Panay was sunk near Nanking China December of 1937...also that the gunboat USS Oahu operated in the same area. So could this have been made by a sailor on either one of those gunboats or from Chinese manufacturer or Chinese member of the crew? If so, how could it be chromed over there...or has it been silver plated locally? Or could have it been made post-war or even last week....so has anyone seen similar rounds out there? If newly made, it did not set me back very much at all...if period, kinda of a cool piece that can join my small gunboat collection.

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I like it! Certainly it could have a connection to the gunboats.........but unfortunately there it sits, unable to reveal its history. The head stamp clearly dates its original origin. The badge is a replica of a Naval officer's hat badge so it might have been given to an officer as souvenir of action on the Yangtze. Enjoy it it. I certainly enjoyed seeing it. Semper Fi.......Bob

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  • 5 years later...
stbryson

Hello,

I am late to the game here, but here is a pair of trench art shells connected to the U.S. Asiatic Fleet and the Yangtze Patrol that I came across several years ago.  Both are .50 caliber, marked "CAL 50 FA 28", with nickel-plated cases.  Please excuse the poor quality photos.

 

One is engraved:         U.S.S. Houston.

                                         Shanghai.

                                            China.

                                            31-33

 

with USN anchor and a rickshaw on the opposite side.

 

The second is engraved:    U.S.S. Tutuila

                                               Yangtze

                                                 River

 

with USN anchor and a Buddha figure on the opposite side.

 

I have been interested in the U.S. Asiatic Fleet, and particularly the Yangtze Patrol, for quite a while, and would like to correspond with anyone interested in those subjects.

 

Thank you, and take care,

 

Steve Bryson

USS Houston USS Tutuila Trench Art 1.jpg

USS Houston USS Tutuila Trench Art 2.jpg

USS Houston USS Tutuila Trench Art 3.jpg

USS Houston USS Tutuila Trench Art 4.jpg

USS Houston USS Tutuila Trench Art 5.jpg

USS Houston USS Tutuila Trench Art 6.jpg

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Steve feel free to reach out to me as I have a strong interest in both the China Marines and the Asiatic Fleet….btw very nice pieces!

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On 2/26/2016 at 5:25 PM, Dirk said:

So what do I have here. I recently picked this item off eBay because I thought was interesting- a 50 caliber round that has been decorated and possibly chromed. On one side there is an engraving that says "Nanking 1937" and in the other a Naval Eagle with anchors. The head stamp notes the round was manufactured at the Frankford Arsenal, 1926. There is some other fine decorative scroll work just below the neck of the casing and under magnification dents, chips and rub marks. The style of some of the details found in the engraving mirrors Chinese engraved silver I have in my collection. Of course we know the gunboat USS Panay was sunk near Nanking China December of 1937...also that the gunboat USS Oahu operated in the same area. So could this have been made by a sailor on either one of those gunboats or from Chinese manufacturer or Chinese member of the crew? If so, how could it be chromed over there...or has it been silver plated locally? Or could have it been made post-war or even last week....so has anyone seen similar rounds out there? If newly made, it did not set me back very much at all...if period, kinda of a cool piece that can join my small gunboat collection.

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Maybe you should get an inertia bullet puller and see if any papers are rolled up inside.Being an ordnance collector  I have heard stories of people finding information inside items, stories, names, circumstances. 

 

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Maybe you should get an inertia bullet puller and see if any papers are rolled up inside.Being an ordnance collector  I have heard stories of people finding information inside items, stories, names, circumstances usually stuck inside on a rolled up piece of paper.

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