Italian Prisoner of War Picture Frame

A metal frame made by a World War II Italian prisoner of war probably while in North Africa, given the desert-inspired image etched on the front and the high number of Italian soldiers taken prisoner in that warzone. This item is just one of hundreds of small and large objects and structures built by prisoners of war. The writing engraved here states: “Ricordo P.W. 14-10-43” (Souvenir P.W. 14-Oct- 43)/ “Con affetto sempre vi ricordo” (I remember you both always with affection). Today we know very little about most such pieces or the artists who built them. I began collecting Italian POW pieces by unknown builders as part of my research. However, I first learned about such constructions from a small tank built out of disassembled shell cradles made by my paternal grandfather, Donato Ruberto, while he was an Italian POW in the United States. That tank is now held in the Italian American Collection of the Heinz History Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

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