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Menu signed by Mao Zedong auctioned for a quarter of a million dollars

Mao Zedong signed the menu in fountain pen (Alamy/PA)
Mao Zedong signed the menu in fountain pen (Alamy/PA)

An official menu for a state banquet that bears the signature of former Chinese leader Mao Zedong has been auctioned for 275,000 US dollars (£220,000).

Boston-based RR Auction said the menu was for a banquet held in Beijing on October 19 1956, and commemorated the first state visit to China by Pakistan’s prime minister Huseyn Shaheed Suhrawardy.

The menu for a state banquet signed by Mao Zedong
The menu for a state banquet signed by Mao Zedong (RR Auction via AP)

The menu was signed in fountain pen by six influential Chinese statesmen, including Mao and premier Zhou Enlai.

The banquet featured foods from both nations and included delicacies such as consomme of swallow nest and white agaric, shark’s fin in brown sauce, and roast Peking duck.

“To hold a menu signed by Mao Zedong and Zhou Enlai is to hold a piece of the past – a piece that tells a story of diplomatic engagement, cultural exchange, and the forging of friendships that have endured through the decades,” said Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction.

A cheque signed by Steve Jobs
Other items auctioned off included a cheque signed by Steve Jobs to Radio Shack (RR Auction via AP)

Other items auctioned off included a fully operational Second World War-era Enigma coding machine, a Thomas Edison-signed document for a light bulb patent, and a cheque signed by Steve Jobs to Radio Shack.

The cheque, dated July 23 1976, was signed by Mr Jobs the same year he and Steve Wozniak launched Apple in a Silicon Valley garage.