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Churchill, The Windsors and 420 Million Year Old Tree Trunk Star in Bonhams Gentleman's Library Sale
Sir Winston Chrurchill half smoked cigar. Estimate: £600-£1000. Photo: Bonhams.
LONDON.- What do one of Churchill’s cigars, a 35 million years old fossilised giant pig, a silver wheelbarrow presented to W.E. Gladstone, historic butterfly cabinets from the Natural History Museum and Christmas presents from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor have in common? They all feature in Bonhams annual Gentleman’s Library Sale on 19 January.

During the war, portraits of Churchill were important propaganda tools but he rarely actually sat for them. In 1944 he did so, briefly, for the artist Frank O Salisbury who had already painted him many times. When the Prime Minister left, he discarded his half smoked cigar which the painter kept as a souvenir. It has been in the family ever since and is estimated at between £600 and £1,000.

A perfect place to keep it would be one of the 46 collectors’ cabinets from the Natural History Museum. Until recently they held the world famous butterfly collections of three Victorian gentlemen who competed to accumulate the greatest number of specimens and the most impressive. They range in estimate between £300 and £3,000.

The giant pig is among an array of fascinating and ancient fossils including a massive petrified tree trunk from the Triassic period, 235 years ago (estimate £5,000 - 7,000) and a beautiful large fossilised fish plate holding the forms of 26 perfectly preserved fish (£3,000 - 5,000).

Four times Prime Minister, William Ewart Gladstone, was presented with the sliver wheelbarrow to commemorate his cutting of the first sod of the Wirral railway in 1892. It comes complete with spade and is estimated at between £20,000 - 25,000. There is a memento of another great Victorian in Isambard Kingdom Brunel’s Cigar Box (estimate £22,000 - 30,000). An inveterate smoker, Brunel got through up to 40 cigars a day and is often pictured, cheroot in mouth and cigar case strapped across his chest.

Finally, Christmas presents from the Duke and Duchess of Windsor to their private secretary for ten years, Mr Victor Waddilove, are among a small archive of memorabilia connected with the controversial couple (£2,000-2,500) The gifts include a gold pen knife and a silver beaker, both engraved with the ciphers of Edward and Wallis.

The Gentleman’s Library Sale is now in its 11th year. Unique to Bonhams, the sale features all kinds of objects that may have been found in a Victorian or Edwardian Gentleman’s Library from fossils to cigarette boxes, leather armchairs to globes, chess sets to family portraits.





Last Week News

January 5, 2011

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Legendary Marvel Comic Book Creator Stan Lee Gets Hollywood Star on Walk of Fame

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Dallas Museum of Art Presents First Overview of Its Modern and Contemporary Design Collections

Everson Museum of Art Announce Extension of Haudenosaunee: Elements Exhibition for Two More Weeks

Centre for Contemporary Culture Strozzina to Present the Second Emerging Talents Awards

The Helene and Zygfryd Wolloch Collection of Modern Sculpture Donated to Tel Aviv Museum of Art

Metropolitan Museum Launches Connections Series of Online Episodes Featuring Museum Staff

January 4, 2011

Archaeologists Discover Cretan Tools That Point to 130,000 to 700,000-Year-Old Sea Travel

Archaeologists at Jamestown Unearth a Trove of 400-Year-Old Pipes Personalized for Patron

LA Art Show Debuts Never-Before Seen Works by Photographer Henri Cartier-Bresson

Maison de Balzac Shows Work by Louise Bourgeois Especially Created for the Museum

John Lennon's White 'Abbey Road' Two-Piece Suit Sells for $46,000 at Braswell Galleries

ArtParis at the Grand Palais: A Project-Based Fair in Paris to Be Held at the End of March

Florida's Charles Hosmer Morse Museum Showcases Tiffany Glass Works

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Phillips de Pury & Company Presents Tectonic Shift: Contemporary Art from Chile

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Temporary Closure of the Canada Aviation and Space Museum, to Reopen with New Wing

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Katharine T. Carter & Associates Launch Definite Artist Career Book

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January 3, 2011

Valencia Celebrates the 600th Anniversary of Knight Joanot Martorell with Exhibition

The Wallace Collection Announces Plans for Newly-Refurbished Dutch Galleries

Exhibition at Canadian Museum of Civilization Explores the Vibrant Culture of the Haida

Cooper-Hewitt to Present "Color Moves: Art and Fashion by Sonia Delaunay"

Stunning Images of the Ancient Temples of Angkor Reveal a Photographer's Artistic Vision

The Spirit, Colour and Vitality of the Ballets Russes Brought to Life at the National Gallery of Australia

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad's 33-Year-Old Car Gets $1 Million Bid

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January 2, 2011

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