The “old lion” Winston Churchill, hero of the Second World War and British Prime Minister, was also a painter and Nobel Prize winner for literature: some of his books, letters, speeches, furniture and paintings have been in the spotlight and on sale since Thursday in New York. These personal items are part of the family collection of American media mogul Steve Forbes and are on offer until January 28 at the Winter Fair of Antiques and Designers in the American economic and cultural capital.
Among the pieces on offer is an imposing portrait of Churchill seated with his cigar in hand by Hungarian painter Arthur Pan, an oil on canvas from 1943 priced at $125,000. “We bought the best, documents, letters, the desk and paintings,” New York dealer and collector of old books Pom Harrington, who is organizing the sale, told AFP.
Also readElton John's watchmaking madness at auction at Christie's
Born to an American mother and honorary citizen of the United States, this great British figure (1874-1965) was both “a war hero and an outsider”, immensely appreciated in America according to Mr. Harrington who tables on “many American buyers.” Notably for the office at his London home at Hyde Park Gate on which Churchill partly wrote his memoirs of the Second World War, which earned him the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1953. The piece of furniture is offered at $450,000. The hand-corrected proofs of these memoirs will find a buyer, Mr. Harrington hopes, for $750,000.
Churchill was also an established painter before becoming a war leader and a politician of international stature: a 1935 painting (The Entrance to the Gorge at Todra) created during a tourist trip to Morocco is for sale for $395,000. Winston Churchill found a place of inspiration in Marrakech and the most famous of his paintings in Morocco, The Tower of the Koutoubia Mosque (1943), was sold in March 2021 by the American actress Angelina Jolie, via the auction house Christie's in London, for £7 million at the time. Finally, an edition of his speeches “On Free Trade” is also for sale, rejoices Pom Harrington: “I am a collector of rare books and these are things that must be bought,” he says, for 150,000 dollars .