News | December 8, 2023

Historic Mao Zedong-Signed Banquet Menu Sold for $275,000

RR Auction

Mao Zedong signed menu

An official menu from the state banquet held in Beijing on October 19, 1956, commemorating the first state visit of Prime Minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy of Pakistan to China, has been auctioned for $275,000 at Boston-based RR Auction.

The menu, signed in fountain pen by six influential Chinese statesmen including Chairman Mao Zedong and Premier Zhou Enlai, bears witness to a pivotal moment in Sino-Pakistani relations. Prime Minister Suhrawardy, who had assumed office a month before the historic banquet, sought to foster pragmatic ties with Communist China during a period of shifting global dynamics.

Among the illustrious signatories on the menu were Huang Yanpei (Vice Premier of the State Council and Minister of Industry), Peng Zhen (Mayor of Beijing and later Chairman of the National People's Congress), Chen Yun (a leading economic politician and Party Vice Chairman), and Zhu De (Vice Chairman of the Communist Party and the PRC, renowned as Mao's military advisor).

The culinary offerings listed on the menu included Consommé of Swallow Nest and White Agaric, Shark's Fin in Brown Sauce, and Roast Peking Duck.

Other highlights from the sale included:

  • a fully operational World War II-era Enigma cipher machine sold for $206,253
  • Steve Jobs signed check to RadioShack sold for $46,063
  • a Thomas Edison signed document for the Light Bulb patent sold for $22,154
  • Joseph Stalin signed letter to his children, published in his daughter's autobiography sold for $22,134
  • Benjamin Franklin signed endorsement as President of Pennsylvania sold for $21,889