Catalog Archive
Auction 180, Lot 23

"Reg Manning's Table-Top Argu-Map of the World",

Subject: World, World War II

Period: 1941 (dated)


Color: Printed Color

42 x 42 inches
106.7 x 106.7 cm

This satirical tablecloth map was created by prominent American artist and cartoonist Reg Manning to capitalize on the American pastime of arguing over the war. Commissioned by Goldwater's Department Store chain in Phoenix, Arizona, the tablecloth was first advertised in the November 15, 1941 issue of The New Yorker magazine, just weeks before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the United States' entry into World War II. The map was described in the ad as "the whole 'wild' world on a new, hilarious luncheon cloth" that was "for 'knife and fork generals' and 'after dinner admirals.'" The world map is presented on a north-polar projection with four gores, or an "orange peel projection as explained and illustrated by Manning in the south Pacific Ocean. The map labels countries and a few major cities, although a note in northern Asia warns that "All National Borders Subject to Change Without Notice!" "Argu-facts" are also included throughout the map with details on various US naval vessels. Prominent political figures and national personifications are represented in the cusps between the gores, including Uncle Sam, John Bull, Adolf Hitler, Josef Stalin, and Japanese Emperor Hirohito. Anti-Nazi sentiment is made clear with three reminders of dinner etiquette located on three of the gores, each of which end with "Who D' Y' Think You Are? Hitler?" The tablecloth was originally sold with a matching set of 4 napkins and instructions on "How to Start Warguments" and offered in three colors (blue, brown or wine-red) for the sum of $3.50. The napkins and instructions no longer accompany this example.


Condition: B+

A bright example with a few stains and two small holes - one along the east coast of Africa that has been repaired with white thread and another in the cusp between South America and the South Pacific.

Estimate: $500 - $700

Sold for: $750

Closed on 11/18/2020