Catalog Archive
Auction 164, Lot 462

Satirical Map of WWI Benefiting the Red Cross

"Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914",

Subject: Europe, World War I

Period: 1914 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

15.2 x 9.7 inches
38.6 x 24.6 cm
New! Download High Resolution Image
(or just click on image to launch the Zoom viewer)

This fascinating propaganda map was created by Walter Trier and was published by Reklameverlag Ernst Marx in Berlin and Verlag Otto Maier in Leipzig. Trier, a German-Jewish artist, was born in Prague and emigrated to Germany to study art. He was a well-known illustrator in Germany and created this map shortly after the outbreak of WWI. After the war, Trier became a strong anti-fascist and was bitterly opposed to the Nazis, fleeing to England in 1936.

In this pro-Germany satirical map, each country is depicted in human or animal form to illustrate the country's character and involvement in the war, with tongue-in-cheek prose below the map further describing each country. Germany and Austria-Hungary are depicted as soldiers, striking out in several directions. Belgium has already been "caught" by Germany and serves as his gun. Russia is seen as a giant, trying to swallow its neighbors. Spain sits back and watches the turmoil while France "courageously" pulls itself back. Serbia is depicted as a pig and Montenegro is a louse. Italy looks frightened with his hands in his pockets. Romania is depicted as Carol I, who ruled until his death on October 10, 1914. Within the text below the map are redactions masking the descriptions of Italy and Romania. While Italy was described within the text as "faithful until death" due to its participation in the Triple Alliance, Italy proclaimed neutrality in August 1914 and its support was therefore no longer certain. Likewise, Carol I of Romania favored Germany prior to the war, but after his death in 1914 Romania also declared itself neutral. Another interesting facet of this map is the prominent note at right indicating that 10% of the price of the map (30 Pf.) would be given to the Red Cross.

Original serio-comic maps are very scarce due to their ephemeral nature.


Condition: A

Minor toning, light marginal soiling, and tiny centerfold separations at top and bottom. There are a few short tears along the left edge of the sheet.

Estimate: $1,600 - $1,900

Sold for: $1,000

Closed on 9/13/2017