Catalog Archive
Auction 172, Lot 385

Very Rare Zoomorphic Map of Europe During WWII

"Mapa Humoristico da Europa Guerra - 1939",

Subject: Europe, WWII

Period: 1939 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

25.2 x 17.8 inches
64 x 45.2 cm
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This superb zoomorphic map of Europe was created by Antonio Soares, a Portuguese painter and caricaturist. Each European country is depicted as an animal, most of which are quite exotic and not native to that country. Many of the animals are shown as quite aggressive with sharp, bared teeth. At the center is a German tiger, lashing out at France (a lion), Austria (a camel), Czechoslovakia (a lynx) and Poland (a rhinoceros) with its paws. The Polish rhino is also being attacked from behind by a giant Russian polar bear. Several neutral countries are depicted as docile animals with their heads turned away from the war, such as the giraffes of Norway and Sweden, the lamb of Switzerland, and the cow of Spain. In contrast, Portugal, which was neutral during the war, is depicted as a white wolf baring its teeth towards Germany. Italy is a snake with its tongue flicking towards the lion of France and its tail strangling the goat-like Albania. Despite all of the aggression, only the German tiger and Russian polar bear have drawn blood on their enemies, with the poor Polish Rhino dripping in blood. Lithographed by Lit. Tejo, published by Livraria Franco in Lisbon, and "endorsed by the censorship commission" (as noted at bottom right).

This map is very rare, as we were only able to find one other example listed for sale in the last 40 years.


Condition: B+

Issued folding, now flattened and backed on thin archival tissue to repair some tiny separations along the folds. There are two very small holes along the folds (one in the North Sea and one in the Mediterranean) that have been professionally repaired with a minute amount of the image replaced in facsimile.

Estimate: $2,750 - $3,750

Sold for: $2,000

Closed on 4/17/2019