The manuscript page was provided for auction by local business Feng Lun, according to Chinanews.com. It is unknown how Feng obtained the manuscript.
— Praveen Kumar (@ComradePraveenK) May 5, 2018
The document was part of more than 1,250 pages of notes the German philosopher and economist wrote in London between September 1850 and August 1853. The notes were reportedly part of a draft of Marx's "Capital: Critique of Political Economy," his famous foundational theoretical text on materialist philosophy, economics and politics published in 1867.
The page also included extracts of the book "Practical Treatise on Banking" by British banker James William Gilbart, who Marx references in "Capital." The manuscript notes were written in both English and German, according to the Beijing Council International Auction company, which held the auction.
According to Chinese newspaper The People's Daily, the bid for the manuscript page started at around $50,000, but just 10 minutes later, the manuscript was sold for a staggering $455,000. The closing bid was far higher than the pre-sale valuation of the manuscript between $156,000 and $187,000.
During the same auction, a manuscript by Friedrich Engels, another German philosopher who also contributed to Marxist theory, was sold for about $261,000.
Marxism holds the means of production as the economic foundation that directs political life and advocates for ownership of the means of production by producers, not those who earn riches from those producers.
According to the auction house, this is the first time manuscripts by these two influential thinkers have been auctioned.
The auction took place just a few weeks after China celebrated the 200th anniversary of Marx's birth on May 5 by holding a ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing. The commemoration included a speech by Chinese President Xi Jinping.