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The World’s Boxing Championship

  • Author: ANONYMOUS
  • Publisher: The Zig-Zag Puzzle Company, London (Publishers / Manufacturers)
  • Date: 1915
  • Dimensions: Made-up dimensions: 47.6 x 36.6 cms.


Rare & amusing British propaganda map jigsaw published in early 1915, portraying the European war as an international Boxing match

About this piece:

The World’s Boxing Championship

[Zig-Zag Puzzle Company]

Lacking one piece at right edge and one small section of lower corner. With its original box and the original 1915 Zig-Zag jigsaw 4 page printed catalogue leaflet.

This remarkable, exceptionally rare map jigsaw (lacking one piece and small section of one another piece at lower corner) was designed & produced by The Zig-Zag Puzzle Company of London. It was one of a growing range of patriotic puzzles that it manufactured & marketed in response to the outbreak of War. These included a series of upright puzzles, in the form of 9-inch portraits of the leading British commanders of the day: French, Kitchener, Jellicoe & Smith-Dorrien. Other patriotic titles included: Defenders of Empire(“A symbolic group of all the British & Colonial forces both on land and sea”) and Are We Downhearted (“A figure puzzle in the colours of the Five Allies”).

More directly related to the unfolding events of the War itself, by May 1915, the Zig-Zag Company’s jigsaw catalogue could offer the following titles, amongst many others: Our Lads in France; Saving the Guns at Mons; One Lone Gun in the Dawn; Our Tommies in Paris; Looking for the Enemy; A French Maxim Squad; French Soldiers Sniping; Banners of Liberty; Scots Greys Charging; and A Famous French Battery. The front cover of May 1915 Catalogue depicts a wounded Tommy, sitting at a table, with a partially completed puzzle in front of him & notes: “For the wounded, for the sick or for the convalescent, there is no happier pastime than Zig-Zag Puzzles”.

The European War is a rumbustious Boxing Championship, in which national & military leaders unleash a battery of bloody blows against one another. Uncle Sam oversees the contest as uncertain referee, feet planted in the Atlantic, stop watch in hand. Lord Kitchener restrains the British Bulldog. Across the Channel, Sir John French, commander of the BEF, bloodies the Kaiser’s nose. At his side Marshal Joffre sends “Little Willie” packing. A turbaned Indian references the recent arrival of native Indian troops in France. Russian general, Paul von Rennenkampf, kicks the Kaiser & launches a heavy uppercut to the Austrian Emperor, as the latter reels from a fierce Serbian blow to the stomach. Turkey is down & out, fanned by a German acolyte. The neutrals stand within the confines of their own lands, most with gloves on, in readiness to join the contest, if or when their time should come.

Offered with the original box and with Zig-Zag’s original 1915 promotional leaflet.

This exact & very same example is fully illustrated & described in Soucacos’ Satirical Maps, pp.112-116

Refs: Panayotis N Soucacos: Satirical Maps, pp.112-116