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Signed during a diplomatic summit

Mao Zedong, Chinese statesman (1893-1976). Autograph album signed by Mao Zedong and Chou Enlai.

Beijing, 8. I. 1963.

Oblong 8vo (ca. 130 x 82 mm). Coloured papers in a brown plastic wallet, titled "Autographs". Additional signatures in the album are from various places, dating from 7 Sept. 1962 to 9 Sept. 1989, but chiefly from early 1960s.

An exceptionally rare signature of Mao Zedong, signed during a diplomatic summit on 8 January 1963. The album also includes the signature of Chou Enlai (almost certainly on the same date) and 30 others: Indira Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru, Yasser Arafat (additionally inscribed "Revolution Till Victory"), Ne Win (Prime Minister of Burma), Khin Kyi (wife of Aung San), Bertrand Russell, Lord Mountbatten, Lester B. Pearson (Nobel Laureate and Prime Minister of Canada), statesmen and other public figures from Sri Lanka, Indonesia, Cambodia, and elsewhere.

The signatures in this album were collected by a member of the entourage of Sirimavo Bandaranaike (1916-2000), the world's first female Prime Minister, who served three terms as Prime Minister of Ceylon (now Sri Lanka). Many of the most significant signatures, including that of Mao, date from the period of the Colombo Conference ("Conference of six Afro-Asian non-aligned countries", December 1962), an attempt to ease tensions between India and China in the aftermath of the Sino-Indian War of 1962. Bandaranaike met Mao in China on January 7 and 8, 1963 in order to discuss the principles agreed in Colombo, following which she flew to New Delhi (Nehru's signature is dated 13 January 1963).

Occasional light soiling, but in all finely preserved. A remarkable survival.