TYPE: Poster
DIMENSIONS: 342 by 228 mm
COMPONENTS: Printed posters on paper. 5 leaves (of 6 original).
CONDITION: A few light creases to extremities, else excellent condition, versos blank.
NOTES: Despite a firmly held belief that this sale should include only manuscript materials, the two present cataloguers have decided that these items belong here, as fascinating modern tributes of the power that illuminated manuscripts of the Shahnameh (‘Book of Kings’) have had over Persian/Iranian populations up to the present day.

As mundane objects, produced to be pasted to walls and billboards they hardly ever survive in good condition (despite their printing in the UK, the British Library have only the postcards), and are rarely to be seen on the open market.
ITEM ID: 4263

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Set of 5 World War II Propaganda Posters

Year: 1942
Decade: 1940s
Century: 20th (1901-2000)

Set of 5 World War II propaganda posters depicting adaptations of Shahnameh scenes for the British Ministry of Information.

Marengo was born in Egypt, but began his career in Paris, where he produced satirical cartoons and illustrations for both French and English newspapers (including both Le petit Parisien and the Daily Telegraph ). At the outbreak of World War II, he was studying in Exeter College, Oxford, and turned his talents to aiding the Ministry of Information in London, producing over 3,000 images on behalf of the British war effort.

The Germans were increasingly using propaganda in Iran, and so Marengo was tasked with devising counter-measures. He drew on that nation’s rich manuscript heritage, and repainted six images from the Shahnameh, which replaced key figures with Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin overseeing the downfall of Hitler. These were initially produced as posters, and then as booklets of postcards, and dispersed in the Tehran conference when the Allied powers signed a declaration that committed them to Iran’s independence.

Name: Kimon E. Marengo (KEM)
Type: Cartoonist
Artists Dates: February 4, 1904 – November 4, 1988
Artist Information: Kimon Evan Marengo, better known for his pen name Kem, was an Egyptian-born British cartoonist in Zifta, Egypt. He was the son of Evangelos Marangos, a Greek cotton merchant. Marengo grew up in the Greek community in Alexandria, Egypt. In his childhood he produced his own satirical hobby magazine. In 1929 he went to study at the Ecole des Sciences Politiques in Paris, graduating in 1931. He began to draw cartoons for newspapers, including Le Canard enchaîné, Le Petit Parisien, the Daily Herald and The Daily Telegraph. Marengo attended the University of Oxford in 1939, but when World War II erupted, he joined the Ministry of Information and drew 3,000 propaganda posters, leaflets, and political cartoons in various languages, including three dialects of Arabic and Persian. This included British propaganda effort to get the support of the Persians. He wrote eight books. He was also involved with the Political Warfare Executive in the French and North African and later Middle East matters. After the war Marengo went back to his studies in Oxford and graduated at the end of 1946 due to accelerated BA programme. His eventual thesis was The Cartoon as a Political Weapon in England: 1783-1832. From 1939 he designed and printed his own Christmas cards for his friends and business connections. They invariably consisted of a cartoon depicting a major political development of the outgoing year. He also imprinted on them his cartoonist coat of arms: a shield with a drawing of his face and the word 'Kem' on a green field, supported on either side by an African man in white, wearing a red fez and bandana and cocking a snook. It was topped by a coronet with the motto at the bottom, 'Apres moi le deluge'.