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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.

Today's News

January 6, 2011

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Hitler Exhibit in Berlin's German Historical Museum Extended Due to Popularity

Fragmented Narratives: Todd Hido's Second Solo Show with the Bruce Silverstein Gallery

Sale of Important Old Master Paintings & Sculptures Announced at Sotheby's in New York

A Selection of Over Forty Photographs by Ray K. Metzker at Laurence Miller Gallery

Jeff Gibson Presents Two Video Projections and Two Light Boxes at the Stephan Stoyanov Gallery

Museum of Fine Arts, St. Petersburg Florida Receives Major Donation of Photographs

Rare Opportunity to Explore French Impressionist Monet at the Portland Art Museum

Churchill, The Windsors and 420 Million Year Old Tree Trunk Star in Bonhams Gentleman's Library Sale

High Hosts Second Annual Collectors' Evening to Help Build the Museum's Collection

Norman Rockwell Museum Shares Decade-Long Digitization Project With Worldwide Audience

A&F Markets in Paris Presents Art Exchange, the First Stock Exchange for Art

New Book on The Moche of Ancient Peru in the Peabody Museum Collection Series

Glasgow Museum's Scotland Street School Museum Exhibits Toy Stories

Mozambican Artist Malangatana Ngwenya Dead at 74

New Installation of Fluorescent Minerals Collection Opens at the University of Richmond Museums

New Edition of Mark Twain's Books will Try to Hold True after Removing 'Offensive' Words

Nearly 3,000 Calligraphers in Japanese Break Out the Brushes for Annual New Year's Ritual

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Contemporary Arts Museum Houston Presents Perspectives 173: Clifford Owens

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Heritage Auctions Adds Up More Than $677 Million in Overall Gross Sales in 2010

PAFA Strengthens Its Renowned Collection of American Art

Museum Of Contemporary Art San Diego Presents David Wojnarowicz's A Fire in My Belly

Unprecedented $13 Million Gift from the Otis Booth Foundation to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County

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