CHESAPEAKE CITY, Md., Nov. 11, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- On November 17th a Maryland auction house will offer a large grouping of important historic Chinese documents and propaganda, including a ledger book used by the first American trading house in China. Alexander Historical Auctions researchers discovered the 1804 account book of "E. Bumstead & Co." of Canton in a box of books consigned by a California collector. That company was the first American trading house in China, and the book dates from its first year of operation. It details transactions made with Chinese merchants and lists the names of cargo vessels, many of which were trading American furs for Chinese tea. This ledger is the precursor of what today amounts to billions of dollars a year in trade between the two nations.
Also to be offered is a British Royal Navy crewman's logbook in which the young sailor included many original drawings and descriptions of battles of the Second Opium War. Also of special interest to collectors and scholars is a handwritten dictionary of "Tie Chiu Vocabulary", an English translation of the ancient Teochew dialect, and a printed copy in Chinese of the Book of Genesis. Both of these rare books were written by Baptist missionary William Dean.
Another section of the same auction features rare propaganda posters and other items purchased in China and accumulated by a single collector. Included are rare first edition copies of "Quotations of Chairman Mao Zedong", commonly referred to as "The Little Red Book". Also to be offered are exceptionally rare World War II posters, one of which depicts the atomic bombing of Nagasaki, with another showing the artist's fanciful impression of the capture of Berlin. China's post-war history is represented in the many dozens of other posters to be offered, including anti-Nationalist images, pro-Stalin posters, support for the "Great Leap Forward" and the "Cultural Revolution", anti-imperialist and "Paper Tiger" representations, exhortations for defense of the homeland, and so on. Many of the evocative color posters are rarely, if ever encountered.
The auction house has been known to offer other important historical items, including Franklin Roosevelt's inaugural top hat, a watch given by Marilyn Monroe to John F. Kennedy, Al Capone's pistol, Adolf Hitler's copy of "Mein Kampf" and Dwight Eisenhower's four-star general's helmet.
The current sale includes equally impressive material:
- A section of the communist red flag of the Huangma Uprising, precursor of the Red Army.
- A siege of Shanghai photograph album.
- Five additional log books from China trade vessels.
- Hundreds of autographs of important figures in Chinese history.
- Dozens of original Uchida Japanese "shin-hanga" woodblock prints
- A large selection of Chinese art, to be sold without reserve.
Bidding will be available live, by telephone, and at the bidding websites invaluable.com, the-saleroom.com and liveauctioneers.com, which allow bidders around the world to submit offers in real time as the auction progresses.
The auction house may be contacted at: [email protected], telephone 203-276-1570.
SOURCE Alexander Historical Auctions