Lot 41: Revolutionary Currency Signed Twice by Comrade
October 4, 2012
London, United KingdomLive Auction
Description: Revolutionary Currency Signed Twice by Comrade Mao, Bian Bi, denomination of 100 Yuan, a rare currency note issued by the Bank of ShaanGanNing border area, illustrated with the local council assembly hall on one side, verso portraying the pagoda mountain at Yan'an, signed twice by Chairman Mao in Chinese characters and Pinyin, and also signed on the recto by four communist luminaries from this historic period where China battled a revolutionary war against Japanese aggression: Chairman Mao Zedong, Vice-Chairman Zhu De, Huang Hua and Ma Haide, 77 x 171 mm, creased where folded into panels, minor wear, tears at folds and slight loss to upper left margin, 1942. Vice-Chairman Zhu De (1886-1976) commander of the Eighth Route Army (re-designation of the Red Army, which he founded) in a United Front with the Nationalists against the Japanese, afterwards established the People's Liberation Army and was its first Commander-in-Chief; he and Mao had formed a close political relationship by 1928 and Zhu is considered one of the great military tacticians of the twentieth century. Huang Hua (b. 1913) worked as a translator for the Red Army in 1936 in the northern area of Shaanxi Province helping Edgar Snow/Ma Haide (see below). In 1941/42 he served as policy secretary for Zhu De and was China's representative joining the Armistice negotiation to end the Korean War (1953). He followed Zhou Enlai at the Geneva Conference (1954) as counselor and spokesman for China, and afterwards as Chinese ambassador from 1960-1971 serving in Ghana, Egypt, and Canada. He was also part of a 1971 three-member team negotiating with Dr. Henry Kissinger the invitation for President Richard Nixon to visit China the following year. Huang became the first resident delegate of China at the United Nations and its Security Council, and in 1976 he was made Minister of Foreign Affairs. Ma Haide (1913-1988) was born as George Hatem in Buffalo, New York, and received his MD in 1933 from the University of Geneva and the American University in Beirut. That same year he went to Shanghai to begin medical practice but was disillusioned by the corruption he found there. In 1936 he travelled to Yan'an and became Mao's personal physician. The journalist Agnes Smedley supported his application to become the first foreign member of the Chinese Communist Party, and following the formation of the PRC Zhou Enlai helped him become the first foreigner granted citizenship of the new Republic. He devoted his life to eliminating leprosy and many venereal diseases in post- war China for which he received the Lasker Medical Award in 1986. ***This Chinese Communist currency 'bian bi' was circulated between 1941 and1943. The notes were recalled and exchanged for commercial currency on July 1st, 1944 by the newly created Business Bank of this liberated territory and consequently few specimens survive..