Lot 311 of 564:
ALs about Japanese occupation and Schiff Art 1940  

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Lot closed - Sold For (Includes Buyers Premium):$132
$200 - $300

Autograph Letter Signed - 1940 letter, Shanghai Japanese occupation and Schiff Art Portfolio

Mollitz, Jean

Shanghai, China


June 18, 1940


3 pp. + original mailing envelope.

To Ralph Moore, Chicago: “…It always makes me happy to hear there are still some Americans left who are really interested in the Far East because I for one truly love the place and find China the most interesting place in the world…Shanghai… it’s the most cosmopolitan, fascinating and interesting city. Of course, since the Japs invaded the place it changed tremendously. My husband and I live in the French concession which borders on the International Settlement and all the surrounding territory was Chinese native quarters…All Chinese soil is now controlled by the Japanese after much destruction, desolation and blood-shed. The foreigners do not dare venture out to these places as it is not quite safe and besides when I do, you always see such unpleasant, horrible sights that I’m sick to my stomach for days. Of course, if America would stop sending thousands of tons of scrap iron and steel to Japan for the killing of millions of these poor peace-loving hard-working people, living here would be a joy…As I write this letter, Japanese planes are flying overhead, dipping, looping and practicing for another raid somewhere. During the night we often hear the sound of machine-gun fire as the guerillas are somewhere on the outskirts. Due to the European conflict we sit here as on the edge of a volcano because if the French really give up we don’t know what will happen to the French concession in which we live… a friend of ours by the name of Schiff is a painter here who got up a little book about Shanghai. If you would like one, I would gladly send one. Its $15 Shanghai dollars, that’s about 90 cents your money. He also painted 12 large pictures of Chinese life about 16 x 12 in a large Portfolio. They could be framed. Really very beautiful and amusing. This he sells for $100 our money which would cost you about $5.50 or maybe $6 US... I think they are beautifully done…” The writer was a New York woman married to an American businessman employed by the San Francisco import-export firm of Getz Bros. in Shanghai. After Pearl Harbor, when the International Settlement was occupied by the Japanese, she was interned as a POW and remained in a Japanese prison camp until the end of the War. The Art Portfolio to which she refers was the work of Austrian-Jewish artist Friedrich Schiff, a Shanghai resident who colorfully captured the daily life of the city in a limited edition Sketchbook of 20 hand-colored illustrations; a copy of that rare work sold in these Galleries two years ago.

Lot Amendments

A bit toned with age; near fine.

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