Isle of Man Stamps and Coins and The Royal British Legion have joined together to commemorate the centenary of the start of World War I (WWI) with a miniature sheet featuring Trench Art, the sheet forms part of the four year thematic series from 2014 to 2017.
The Royal British Legion has clear links to WWI with its work as a UK charity in helping members of the Armed Forces, veterans of all ages and their families. It is also responsible for the poppy appeal campaign which commemorates all of those who lost their lives in WWI.
Trench Art originated during WWI through a series of contests sponsored by a popular French magazine 'Le Pays de France' for the best pieces made by Trench Art, and has been used ever since to describe a wide variety of largely anonymous war souvenirs made from detritus of war or from pieces of military equipment by a variety of artisans.
The stamp within the miniature sheet uses a poignant image taken from Jane A Kimball's Trench Art collection. Jane is a world respected author and collector of Trench Art based in the USA and the image is a detail from a German Christmas card produced in Knockaloe Camp on the Isle of Man in 1917.
In the text that accompanies the miniature sheet, Jane Kimball talks about Trench Art originating during WWI and the craft work produced by a wide variety of artisans, making imaginative and ingenious use of the waste materials of warfare. She also goes on to discuss the most popular forms of Trench Art as being spent shell casings decorated with flowers and particular battles or places. Jane has been a collector of Trench Art for many years and has a collection of more than a thousand pieces.
Commenting on the miniature sheet issue Jane Kimball said: "In commemoration of the centenary of the 'Great War', this is a forthcoming set issued by the Isle of Man Stamps and Coins department of the Isle of Man Post Office. It showcases a selection of objects made in the craft shops in German internee camps at Douglas and Knockaloe camp on the Isle of Man, and some Trench Art pieces made in areas where Manxmen fought during the war.
I was very happy to be able share images of some pieces from my collection of Isle of Man internee art so others may enjoy them.
The original photographs were taken by Kathleen Bishop in Santa Fe, New Mexico. The images were magically transformed into a beautiful set of stamps and integrated into the text by Emma Cooke of EJC Design. I hope you will enjoy them as much as we who have worked on creating them did."
Maxine Cannon, General Manager Isle of Man Post Office said: "We were delighted that we were given the opportunity to work with an avid collector of such rare and relevant items. Trench Art is fascinating movement, often overlooked and it's amazing what they have created with items like these. We are delighted to work together with Jane who has such an extensive collection and expertise in area like this, we think the stamp is a great success."
To view the Trench Art Miniature sheet and to pre-order please click here