I had a picture of the jolly dining machine gunner. I didn’t think it was a randomly shot trench scene. The good quality of the picture, the professional setting, was telltale. But more suspicious than anything, was the well-prepared post-lunch pipe on the right side of the picture. Then the suspicion became fact. It’s a really set image taken for propaganda purposes. In the collection of my friend Gábor Csiszér, there was a letter-closing patterned from this photo.
It also has the name of the 19th Infantry Regiment. So the commanders of this regiment ordered the picture taken and also the letter-closing. The goal is clear: everyone can see how calm it is in the trenches. Golden life, even the pipe is not left behind! The soldier’s hat shows a machine gunner badge. Maybe there was also a 19th regiment badge on the other side of the hat. For example like the one I am presenting here.
It’s a nice Art Nouveau badge in its simplicity, with very strong style marks. The shape of the badge, its round lines and the floral motif used as decoration are all characteristic of the century’s popular art style.