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Original U.S. WWII Pearl Harbor Trench Art Lamp - 40mm Bofors Round

Regular price $795.00

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Compare at $1,395.00

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-Kind. The practice of creating trench art is as old as military conflict itself. During the American Revolution, prisoners of war created ship models from the bones of their rations. Soldiers in the Civil War carved charms and trinkets from lead bullets. World War I brought the advent of "classic" examples of trench art—and gave name to the pastime—as changes in technology presented soldiers with the material that best characterized the art form: the brass cartridge. During World War II, a more mechanized army offered increased access to the tools needed to fashion trench art, and the artifacts became more varied in form and were produced in greater quantity.

This lamp is a testament to the increased access of tools needed for more elaborate trench art items. This lamp features a very nice brass base plate, which is made from the bottom of a very large artillery shell casing, and there are 6 shells / inert cartridges attached to it. At the center is a 40mm Mk1 Mod-3 BOFORS round with a beautiful Dragon image embossed into the brass casing. The round itself is completely inert and cannot be rendered “live” again. Also featured on the lamp are two 20mm Mk2 shell casings which were used to hold the lamp bulbs. On the left shell the word “PEARL” can be seen impressed on the casing and is read vertically. The right shell casing the word “HARBOR” can be found impressed vertically on it as well.

It appears as if there were two .30 caliber rounds but unfortunately only one remains on the lamp. The “pull cord” is a .30-06 “M1 Garand” round and has the chain to activate the lamp attached through the primer hole on the bottom. The lamp still clicks on and off, but there is no longer a power cord attached to the bottom, but there are the leads still present if you wish to rewire it. We have not tested the lamp, so we cannot guarantee that the internal wiring is still functional. The other cartridges attached to the base are a nice .50 BMG cartridge behind the right 20mm shell casing, and a .45 ACP cartridge next to the "pull cord" .30-06 cartridge.

The condition and craftsmanship of this tabletop lamp is just absolutely beautiful. It shows signs of being heavily used and cherished throughout the years. The brass has long since tarnished, giving it that beautiful almost brown color look. This is definitely bound to turn some heads and would look great on an end table.

Comes ready to display in your WWII trench art collections!

40mm Bofors: 18” tall
20mm Rounds: 5 ½” tall. Bulb size is approximately an E10 or E11 base thread type
.50cal BMG Round: 5 ½” tall
.30-06 Round: 3 ½” tall
.45 ACP Round: Approximately 1 ½” tall
Brass Base: 2” tall
Brass Base Diameter: Approximately 7” across
Total Height: 20” tall

Pearl Harbor
Pearl Harbor is a U.S. naval base near Honolulu, Hawaii, that was the scene of a devastating surprise attack by Japanese forces on December 7, 1941. Just before 8 a.m. on that Sunday morning, hundreds of Japanese fighter planes descended on the base, where they managed to destroy or damage nearly 20 American naval vessels, including eight battleships, and over 300 airplanes. More than 2,400 Americans died in the attack, including civilians, and another 1,000 people were wounded. The day after the assault, President Franklin D. Roosevelt asked Congress to declare war on Japan.

The attack on Pearl Harbor was a surprise, but Japan and the United States had been edging toward war for decades. The United States was particularly unhappy with Japan’s increasingly belligerent attitude toward China. The Japanese government believed that the only way to solve its economic and demographic problems was to expand into its neighbor’s territory and take over its import market.

To this end, Japan declared war on China in 1937, resulting in the Nanking Massacre and other atrocities. American officials responded to this aggression with a battery of economic sanctions and trade embargoes. They reasoned that without access to money and goods, and especially essential supplies like oil, Japan would have to rein in its expansionism.

Instead, the sanctions made the Japanese more determined to stand their ground. During months of negotiations between Tokyo and Washington, D.C., neither side would budge. It seemed that war was all but inevitable.

Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/60
The Bofors 40 mm Automatic Gun L/60 (Bofors 40 mm L/60, Bofors 40 mm/60, Bofors 40/60 and the like), often referred to simply as the Bofors 40 mm gun or the Bofors gun, is an anti-aircraft autocannon, designed in the 1930s by the Swedish arms manufacturer AB Bofors. It was one of the most popular medium-weight anti-aircraft systems during World War II, used by the majority of the western Allies, and some Axis powers such as NSDAP Germany and Hungary. A small number of the weapons remain in service today, and saw action as late as the Gulf War.

In the post-war era, the Bofors 40 mm L/60 design was not suitable for action against jet-powered aircraft, so Bofors developed a new 40mm gun with significantly more power — the Bofors 40mm Automatic Gun L/70. In spite of being a separate development, although based on the same core action and looking visually similar (comparable to the AK-47 vs the AK-74), the Bofors 40mm L/70 gun is also widely known simply as "the Bofors" or the "Bofors 40mm gun". The L/70 design never achieved the same popularity and historical status as the original L/60 model but has still seen great export and popularity to this day, having been adopted by around 40 different nations and even being accepted as NATO-standard in November 1953.

In order to supply both the U.S. Army and U.S. Navy with much greater numbers of the guns, Chrysler built 60,000 of the guns and 120,000 barrels through the war, at half the original projected cost, and filled the Army's needs by 1943. Over the lifetime of the production, their engineers introduced numerous changes to improve mass production, eventually halving the overall time needed to build a gun. Most of the changes were in production methods rather than the design of the gun itself. York Safe & Lock also produced the weapons, though its attempts to coordinate drawings across the program were unsuccessful, and this responsibility was transferred to the Naval Gun Factory in July 1943.

There were many difficulties in producing the guns within the United States, beyond their complexity (illustrated by the use of 2,000 subcontractors in 330 cities and 12 Chrysler factories to make and assemble the parts). The drawings were metric, in Swedish and read from the first angle of projection. Chrysler had to translate to English, fix absolute dimensions, and switch to the third angle of projection. Chrysler engineers also tried to simplify the gun, unsuccessfully, and to take high-speed movies to find possible improvements, but this was not possible until near the end of the war.

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