14-12-24-2173NE06A sothebys churchill.jpg
Sir Winston Churchill’s red morocco dispatch box sold for £130,000 at Sotheby’s white-glove sale of the personal possessions of the late Mary Soames.

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Over 250 lots of paintings, silver, furniture, books, photographs and jewellery from Soames' home in Holland Park all found new buyers in the packed New Bond Street saleroom over the course of the afternoon and evening of December 17.

The power of Churchill's legacy and the sale's unbroken provenance ensured the vast majority of items were taken to estimate-busting levels, netting a hammer total of £12.8m, comfortably above hopes of £3.5-5.5m. That dispatch box from his time as Secretary of State for the Colonies in the 1920s fetched over 18 times the top estimate at £130,000 from a bidder in the room while a new auction record was set for a painting by the wartime Prime Minister.

A 2ft 1in x 2ft 6in (63 x 76cm) oil on canvas from 1932 entitled The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell was one of 15 paintings by Churchill in the sale.

It sold to a UK private buyer for £1.5m to surpass the previous high, another scene from Churchill's famous Kent home entitled Chartwell landscape with sheep, which sold in the same rooms in 2007 for £875,000.