Glen Allen, Virginia - You can't turn on the television or check your mail without seeing a political ad these days, but political propaganda of the past was very different - and more decorative. In the early 20th century, political viewpoints still filled the media in newspapers, magazines, and specially printed broadsides, and one of the more popular means for spreading such propaganda was in the form of maps. These "persuasive" maps were often bright, colorful works of art that caught the reader's eye and could influence opinions. An impressive selection of these political and persuasive maps will be offered at Old World Auctions in their online auction from November 1-14.
World War I witnessed an explosion of political maps intended to convince a nation's population to rally behind their country's war efforts. Three superb examples are Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark! by G. W. Bacon & Company (1914), Humoristische Karte von Europa im Jahre 1914 by Karl Lehmann-Dumont (1914), and Gedrangte Fruhjahrsubersicht von Europa im Jahre 1915 by Lucas Grafe (1915). Hark! Hark!, estimated at $1,800-2,400, gives a British view at the outbreak of the war with each principal country in the conflict depicted as a Dog of War. Germany is an aggressive Dachshund, Britain is a protective bulldog, and France is a dandified poodle. Humoristische Karte and Gedrangte Fruhjahrsubersicht, estimated at $1,300-1,700 and $1,800-2,200 respectively, give a German perspective of the war, with countries symbolized by political caricatures, such as a Russian armed with a bottle of vodka and Britain personified as John Bull.
Other political maps focus on topics that are still relevant today, such as nationalism and the influx of immigrants. The February 1916 cover to Life Magazine warned readers of what might happen if the United States did not protect itself both at home and abroad against a strong German Empire. On this cover, titled My Country, 'Tis of Thee and estimated at $190-220, the United States has been renamed "New Prussia" with Germanized versions of various cities. Perhaps a modern-day version of this map would feature the U.S. as "New Russia."
A Friendship Map, estimated at $120-150, was published by the National Council of Churches in 1956 to promote tolerance of the numerous immigrant groups throughout the United States. The map advocates "That in our Freedom others may be free!" and shows the myriad industries that rely on various religious and ethnic groups to flourish - even "migrant workers" and "wet backs" are deemed friends.
In addition to these political maps, Old World Auctions' November 14 sale will feature over 700 antique maps, atlases and books spanning five centuries of history. The auction catalog will be available online beginning on October 31 at www.oldworldauctions.com. Register to bid at www.oldworldauctions.com/register
Established in 1977, Old World Auctions is the leading specialist in antique maps. The company has researched and listed over 100,000 maps and atlases in their auctions, and offers their research free to the public through their online archive. Old World Auctions offers a 100% money-back guarantee on the authenticity and condition report of every item sold and maintains an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau. The company is owned and operated in Glen Allen, Virginia, by University of Virginia alumni, Eliane & Jon Dotson.
Image Caption: Hark! Hark! The Dogs Do Bark! / Horch! Horch! Die Hunde Bellen! by G. W. Bacon & Company, 1914. Estimate $1,800-2,400.