Communism too Pricey for Chinese Collectors

Karl Marx (1875) Photo: International Institute of Social History
Karl Marx (1875) Photo: International Institute of Social History


A letter written by the German philosopher Karl Marx, author of the communist manifesto who developed an alternative to capitalism, has failed to sell in communist-ruled China, the AFP reports. The letter, owned by a Chinese collector, was written by Marx in the British city of Manchester in 1869.

The document was put up for auction by the Hosane auction house in Shanghai on Monday with the starting price set at 8 million yuan ($1.3 million) but failed to get a single bid. Amid an income increase induced collecting boom in China, the auction house had expected potential buyers to pay a premium price for a piece of communist history.

The Shanghai collector of revolutionary and communist paraphernalia Liu Debao told The Global Times, “The price is unreasonable and frightens away interested buyers.” The same letter was reportedly sold by Christie’s in 2008 for £6,000 ($10,246).

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