Sotheby’s Auction Marks 80 Years Since Winston Churchill Took Charge

It’s 80 years since Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain, and Sotheby’s is marking the turbulent years of the great man with an online auction of many of his personal effects in New York from 10th-20th of May.

Sir Winston Churchill is remembered as one of the greatest leaders and politicians to ever lead a nation, and his clear-headedness, resolution and rhetorical skills are regarded as major elements in the struggle for victory in the Second World War.

Now, 80 years since Churchill took charge as Prime Minister, Sotheby’s is partnering with Chartwell Booksellers to present an impressive selection of rare books and artefacts embracing the entirety of Winston Churchill’s life and career.

Winston Churchill by Karsh of Ottowa
Winston Churchill – Yousuf Karsh, photographer, vintage silver gelatin print, signed by Karsh, 1941 [printed ca. 1951]


Auction highlights include a vintage silver gelatin print of Churchill, signed by photographer Yousuf Karsh, printed around 1951, valued at $20,000–$26,000; the iconic portrait, known as The Angry Lion, was taken on 30th December 1941 in an ante-room of the Ottawa House of Commons following Churchill’s address to the Canadian Parliament. The print is signed by Karsh with a white stylus on the lower right corner of the image: “J Karsh of Ottawa.” This iconic photo is rarely seen at this scope and scale.

lady Randolph Churchill books
Jennie Spencer-Churchill, Lady Randolph Churchill — William Younger Fletcher, author, English Bookbindings in The British Museum, London: Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., 1895 & 1896

Other highlights include his mother Lady Randolph Churchill’s copy of English Bookbindings in the British Museum, , estimated at $1,500–$2,500; an autograph letter signed (“Winston Churchill”) to Lady Pentland, 15 July 1909, at $5,000–$7,000; and a Wedgwood portrait medallion commemorating Churchill’s 90th birthday, 1964, at $800-$1,200.

Churchill portrait Machin
Winston Churchill — Arnold Machin, artist, Wedgwood Portrait Medallion, commemorating Churchill’s 90th birthday, 1964

See also: Galleries and Auction Houses to Re-Open from June?



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