Auction of World's Rarest Signed Book: Mao Zedong's Plea to Fight 'Fascism'
CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md., Nov. 1, 2018 /PRNewswire/ On November 14, 2018 historical document auctioneers, Alexander Historical Auctions (http://www.alexautographs.com/) of Chesapeake City, Maryland will be offering the rarest autograph on the world market today: a 1942 political work with a lengthy signed inscription by Mao Zedong to a French nobleman fleeing the invading Japanese in China.
On the front cover of his important 56-page work "The New Democracy," Mao writes in Chinese characters: "Let us unite with all democratic countries to conquer the Japanese-Italian-German fascism and to build a new world of peace and democracy. Mao Tse-Tung For Mr. d'Anjou"
In 1942 Rene-Charles d'Anjou (b. 1914), a descendant of French royalty, fled westward from Japanese-occupied Beijing. During his eight-month trek, he met the forces of Gen. Lin-Biao and soon became acquainted with Mao at the communists' military headquarters in Yenan, where this book was signed.
Mao's work "The New Democracy" was fundamental to his political thought. His theory is best summarized in his own words: "...The politics of New Democracyconsists in the overthrow of external oppression and of internal feudal and fascist oppression, and then the setting up of a political system which is a united front of all the democratic classes...with the people's congresses determining the major policies and electing the governments at the various levels. It is at once democratic and centralized, that is, centralized on the basis of democracy and democratic under centralized guidance..."
Auctioneer Bill Panagopulos, president of the auction house, describes the book as "impossibly rare." He further commented: "Pieces signed by Mao, especially with personal inscriptions of this quality and from this time, almost never appear on the market. Mao is one of the most important statesmen of all time, and his signed items are always in great demand." The auction house estimates the sale price for the historic book at $150-250,000 but in the recent past prices for similar Mao signed pieces have been much higher. In 2015, a 1937 Mao signed letter to British Prime Minister Clement Atlee realized over $850,000 and in 2017, unsigned literary notes made by Mao late in life brought even a higher price.
The well-documented book was discovered buried in a prestigious English letter and document collection. It was last seen publicly when it was sold forty years ago by a well-known American dealer. It has remained in private hands ever since.
This piece is especially relevant in light of today's frosty relationship between the U.S. and China. Mao signed this book at the height of World War II, while the U.S. and Mao's forces were aligned in their fight against the Japanese. Today the relationship between China and the U.S. is seen by many as being very different.
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SOURCE Alexander Historical Auctions LLC