|Object type||Trench Art|
Cleall, E H
|Place made||Ottoman Empire: Turkey, Dardanelles, Gallipoli, Cape Helles Area, Cape Helles|
First World War, 1914-1918
Turkish Crescent and Star, made from copper dome of lighthouse on Helles Point, Gallipoli
Trench art Turkish crescent and star, made from copper dome of lighthouse on Helles Point, Gallipoli. The object is entirely copper and in two parts. One part is the stand and is in the form of a five-pointed star at the base. The stars measure approx. 55mm across from point to point. Each point of the star has a hole drilled in it at the base of the triangle. The base is attached to a metal shaft approx 8 mm in diameter and 95 mm long. It is pointed at the bottom where it is attached to the star base. At the top is a crudely shaped circular washer approx 25 mm in diameter and 2 mm thick. The upper approx. 7 mm of the shaft are threaded and the washer fits this thread.
The other section is the star and crescent, the star being joined to the inner edge of the crescent on four points of the star. The star measures 80 mm across from point to point and has a hole at the base of the triangle, as does the base. The centre of the star has a threaded hole for the base to screw into. The crescent is 130 mm in diameter but does not describe a circle, measuring 137 mm from the point of the star to the bottom of the crescent. The crescent is bellied out with a flat approx. 5 mm edge to the inner edge and 10 mm to the outer edge.
On the rear of the object impressed into the flat edges of the crescent is the following:
“DESTROYED ON EASTER SUNDAY 1915” on the inner edge, and “PIECE OF DOME OF LIGHTHOUSE ON HELLES POINT GALLOPOLI PENINSULA”.
A cottage industry of trench art ashtrays made from the copper of the Helles lighthouse dome appears to have been established by a member, or members of the 29th (British) Division, with a number of ashtrays with similar inscriptions being produced. This Turkish cresent and star is likely to have been made by the same person or people who manufactured the ashtrays. The buyers of these items were able to have them personalised, for a small additional fee, by the addition of their name and unit details.