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The Paintings of Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, 2 Volume Set, Signed by First Lady of China (Soong May-ling)

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The Paintings of Madame Chiang Kai-Shek, 2 Volume Set, Signed by First Lady of China (Soong May-ling)


Very scarce first edition set.

Soong May-ling, (or May-ling Soong Chiang) also known as Madame Chiang Kai-Shek was a remarkable and important figure in the history of the Republic of China. She was the First Lady of the Republic of China between 1948 and 1975, married to Generalissimo and President Chiang Kai-Shek. She lived from 1898 to 2003. With her first class education in the USA, and with her resultant excellent English she played an important role in political discussions. She was a politician and involved in charitable causes, as well as an accomplished painter in the traditional Chinese style, and after the death of her husband in 1975, moved from Taiwan back to the USA. Around 1988 to 1990 she did return to Taiwan (where this book was signed) and tried and become involved in politics again, but this time was unsuccessful, and returned to the USA. She was a beautiful and formidable lady, and has even been nicknamed The Last Empress.

This 2 volume set is a first edition set, Volume 1 being produced in 1956 (Year 45, Republic of China) and Volume 2 in 1961 (Year 50, Republic of China).

Published in Taiwan by Shih-Ling Studio, Taipei, Taiwan and printed by Benrido Co, Kyoto, Japan in exquisite Japanese style binding.

Each volume consists on outer hardback silk covered folio which unfolds to reveal a thread-sewn book inside with silk covers.

Each folio is approx 40cm high x 30cm wide x 2.5cm deep.

Both volumes carry an introductory section in both English and Chinese, with the introduction being by Chiang Kai-Shek, during his presidency.

Volume 1 carries a lovely hand signed inscription by Soong May-ling.

This set is in near fine condition and is very beautiful indeed. It was probably kept by Soong May-ling until 1989 which is the presentation date of the inscription, which is probably reflected in the excellent condition of the set.

The two bound books are in absolutely pristine condition and even still retain their original paper title guards, so that no staining would occur to the inside of the folio covers. The outer folio covers show very minor signs of wear. The silk ties holding the bone fastenings are now rather worn and fragile, and there is some wear to the silk at the corner extremities of the folio covers. But overall a most handsome set, of which it would be difficult to find a finer example.