A rare Winston Churchill painting depicting his “most special place in the world”, the goldfish pond at his Chartwell home, is expected to fetch £80,000 at auction. It is actually his final work, created shortly before he died in 1965.
This masterpiece has never been exhibited before, and will be offered on Sotheby’s modern and post-war British art sale in London on Nov 21.
The painting was given to Sergeant Edmund Murray, his bodyguard, who served Sir Winston for the last 15 years of his life and helped the politician prepare his easel and brushes before he painted. It has remained with Sergeant Murray’s family, who treasured the painting.
Churchill was a prolific painter as well as having more words published than Dickens and Shakespeare combined. He ainted about 544 pieces after taking up the hobby in the 1920s, and his art is now selling for significant amounts.
Churchill’s auction record was set by a 1932 painting of the same theme, which sold for £1.7 million ($2.7 million) on its estimate of £400,000 to £600,000 ($628,600 to $943,000) at Sotheby’s in London in December 2014. Consigned by the estate of Mary Soames, Churchill’s youngest child, who had died in May of that year, the record-setting work was among 15 of his painting – eight of which currently rank among his top ten sales.