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2227402

Madame Chiang Kai-shek

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Madame Chiang sends thanks for birthday remembrances and discusses her recovery from a severe virus attack

Mayling Soong Chiang, also known as Madame Chiang Kai-shek, 1898–2003.  First Lady of the Republic of China,  1943–1975.  Typed letter signed, Mayling Soong Chiang, with autograph emendations, one page, 7” x 10½”, on engraved, blind-embossed stationery of the Office of the President, Republic of China, Taipei, Taiwan, March 12, 1960.  With original envelope.

This is a beautiful letter in which Madame Chiang sends thanks for remembrances on her birthday.  She also writes that she had been in poor health but was recovering.  In full:  “I appreciate your remembrace of me on my birthday and thank you for the candy which you sent.  /  I hope you and your family are well.  I am just recovering from a severe virus attack and so feel somewhat tired and weak, but, that is to be expected, although tiresome, I admit.  But I am sure that in a few more days, I shall be up and around as usual.”  By hand, in addition to the salutation, she adds, “Most cordially.”

Madame Chiang writes to U.S. Army Maj. Harold Lindsey “Lin” Arison, Jr. (1919–1998), and his wife Mary Jane.  Arison was an American Army bandmaster who served as Nationalist Chinese President Chiang Kai-shek’s Military Music Advisor.  The U.S. Army loaned him to the government of the Republic of China in Taipei in 1954.  He organized and directed a school for music teachers, bandmasters, and instrumentalists, and he composed and arranged state ceremonial music for the government.  He rearranged and harmonized the national anthem of the Republic of China, and his version remains unchanged. 

This is a beautiful letter in very fine condition.  It is clean and bright, and only the two normal horizontal folds keep it from being extra fine.  Madame Chiang has signed and written the salutation and the closing in blue ballpoint pen.  The accompanying envelope was hand delivered through diplomatic channels, not mailed, so it has no postal markings.  Alongside the address line to Arison and his wife, it has a handwritten Chinese notation in black ink that reads “American Embassy,” and there is the handwritten number “1” in the lower right corner.  The envelope has been torn open on the back and shows some handling marks.  It is in fine condition. 

Unframed.

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