DescriptionSun Yat Sen Photograph Signed. Rare black and white bust image of the great revolutionary and political leader Sun Yat Sen, measuring 3.75" x 5.25". The image is affixed to a 5.25" x 7.25" cardboard mount identifying K.T. Thompson as the photographer. The photograph is boldly signed along the lower edge in dark ink, and bears an added inscription at the upper edge of the photographer's mount in an unknown hand: "Presented by Sun Yat Sen to Edwin North McClellan at Shanghai in 1912."
Considered one of the greatest leaders of modern China, Sun Yat Sen was the first provisional president when the Republic of China was founded on January 1, 1912, a post he held for four months. It is very likely this photograph was produced and signed during Sun Yat Sen's brief tenure as president, and presented to Major Edwin McClellan at that time. McClellan was a noted military leader during the First World War, who later wrote several important books on the war and on the Marine Corps.
At the lower right corner of the mount, in yet another hand, the name "Sun Wen." Like many Chinese, Sun Yat Sen used different names at various periods in his life. When he was ten years old, he entered his village's Confucian school and received his so-called "school name," Sun Wén (wen meaning literary). When Sun Yat Sen later became known by Chinese authorities for his revolutionary activities, he was listed as "Sun Wén," and this is how he was known by Chinese authorities until his death. After attaining public office, he consistently used the name Sun Wén to sign official documents. Both the image and the photographer's mount are lightly scuffed and soiled, with moderate wear to mount corners and edges. A sheet of white paper has been glued to the back of the mount. A rare and highly collectible item in very good condition.
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