Letter from Mao Zedong to Attlee goes under the hammer

Letter calls for Attlee’s urgent assistance in war against Japanese imperialism

The first part of the 1937 letter written by Communist leader Mao Zedong to Clement Attlee of the Labour Party. Photograph: Sotheby’s/PA Wire

The first part of the 1937 letter written by Communist leader Mao Zedong to Clement Attlee of the Labour Party. Photograph: Sotheby’s/PA Wire

 

A 1937 letter written by Communist leader Mao Zedong to Clement Attlee of the Labour Party, later British prime minister, has gone under the hammer for £500,000.

The letter, which called for Attlee’s urgent assistance in the war against Japanese imperialism, generated a lot of interest before being snapped up by a private Chinese collector at a Sotheby’s auction in London.

The letter went under the hammer for £500,000, or £605,000 including buyer’s premium, well over its £100,000 to £150,000 estimate.

The letter was originally written in Chinese but this version is believed to have been translated and typed by New Zealand journalist James Munro Bertram before being signed by Mao and the army general Zhu De. – (PA)