Original U.S. WWI Named AEF 312th Supply Train Grouping with Violin

Item Description

Original Item: One-of-a-kind Set. This is a staggeringly rare and unique named grouping. Corporal ORVILLE F. BEERS, army serial number 2118902 was a member of 87th Division, 312th Supply Train, Company B of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in World War One. Corporal Beers hailed from Exira, Iowa.

The 87th Division was made up of National Army drafts from Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi. It was organized at Camp Pike, Arkansas. The overseas movement began August 23, and the last units arrived in France September 13, 1918. Upon arrival in France, the division was turned over to the Service of Supply and ordered to Pons (Charente- Inferieure), where it was broken up and units placed in the intermediate section. The commanding general of this division was Major General Samuel D. Sturgis. The division was known as the "Acorn Division," and the shoulder insignia is a brown acorn on a green circle.

The 87th Division was composed of the following organizations:
173rd Infantry Brigade— 34Sth and 346th Regiments.
174th Infantry Brigade— 347th and 348th Regiments.
334th, 335th and 336th Machine Gun Battalions.
162nd Field Artillery Brigade— 334th, 33Sth and 346th Field Regiments.
312th Trench Mortar Battery.
312th Engineer Regiment and Train.
312th Field Signal Battalion.
312th Ammunition Train.
312th Supply Train.
312th Train Headquarters and Military Police.
312th Sanitary Train— 345th, 346th, 347th and 348th Ambulance Companies and Field Hospitals.

Included in this incredible grouping are the following items:
• Hand painted M1917 Helmet featuring the 87th acorn division insignia and two allied biplanes. The art is signed by WATTS who was presumably another member in BEERS’ company.
• Hand painted violin case featuring an automobile, zeppelin and biplane also signed by WATTS. On the inside of the lid there is a bow for the violin in one of two bow retainers. There also is a receipt dated 1941 from GRINELL BROS in Michigan that was inside the storage compartment of the case. Along with the receipt are strings, tuning pipes, bow rosin, spare bridges, and other parts for the violin.
• Turn of the century violin marked MEDIO FINO on a label on the inside. Medio Fino model violins were made in Mirecourt, France around the turn of the century by the firm of Jerome Thibouville-Lamy, or JTL. These were marketed worldwide. The violin was professionally serviced and restrung recently.
• Multiple wartime photos of BEERS himself and other soldiers training and recreating.
• A small collection of various pins and medals.
• Sketches, pamphlets, and drawings of a machine for patent all assigned to BEERS.
• 5 x company photos in long rolls.

This is one of the most incredible trench art groupings we have ever encountered from a Corporal of a supply train who was clearly drawn to the mystique of the airplanes and motorcars that changed the way in which all wars were fought.

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