[An untitled printed Map of the War Theatre in Central and Western Europe, possibly a template or prototype design for a board game or jigsaw]
- Stock Code: 22454
- Product Archive
- Publisher: Anonymous British Publisher / Maker
- Date: c1915
- Dimensions: 57 x 42.5 x 0.4 cms
A rare British-made game or jigsaw template, c1915, featuring a remarkable map of Europe overprinted with pictorial images of war
About this piece:
Dissected into 48 squares and laid on fabric backing. Printed colours to underlying map and with additional military imagery overprinted on top. Fine example.
The influence and impact of the War was increasingly reflected in the popular culture of the period. It particularly manifested itself in the content & themes of wartime children’s games & jigsaw puzzles. This is one such map game, of especially large proportions, backed & dissected into 48 squares, each dissected square curiously marked with an additional inner square. It could perhaps be an unfinished design prototype or template for a board game or puzzle. Interestingly it forms a matching pair with an identical printed map jigsaw.
The map itself provides a striking perspective on the European War, including Southern & Eastern England and France in the West, Northern Italy, Austria-Hungary & Serbia in the South, and East Prussia, Poland & Russia in the East. What is most unusual is the manner in which the whole map has been overprinted with a remarkable series of vivid scenes portraying the unfolding events of the War. Giant infantrymen advance into battle against each other, with bayonets fixed, alongside a supporting cast of cavalry, biplanes, howitzers, armoured cars & even a Zeppelin. Dreadnoughts, battleships & U-Boats fill the waters of the North Sea, Baltic & Adriatic. A German battleship is pointedly placed along the line of the Kiel Canal. Neutrals Switzerland and Holland are armed and ready, though both remain seated within the confines of their own territories. By contrast, Italy, a neutral until May 1915, in typical bersaglieri attire, now stands fully armed, rifle pointed towards the Trentino territories of his Austrian neighbour to the North. It is one tentative pointer suggesting that this puzzle may have been produced after Italy’s entry into the War in the summer of 1915.
Both pieces are unsigned and lack any other identifying features, making it extremely difficult to determine the exact date, publisher & origins of this rare & unusual pair of British-made map puzzles.