Winston Churchill’s velvet evening slippers – £32,000 at Bellmans.

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In the same month an oil painting by Sir Winston Churchill (1874-1965) sold at £7m (see News, ATG No 2483), three other items intimately associated with the two-times British prime minister performed strongly at UK regional sales.

Two were offered at Bellmans (22% buyer’s premium) in Sussex on March 9 on behalf of a vendor who had bought them in the Political Sale at Sotheby’s in July 1998. The consignor 23 years ago was the Churchill family.

Churchill’s midnight blue velvet evening slippers from the 1950s were monogrammed with his initials WSC and stamped N Tuczek for the Mayfair shoemaker. Estimated at £10,000-15,000, these were hammered down at £32,000. After an online contest between bidders in the UK and the US, a private UK collector was successful.

Churchill’s c.1960 brandy balloon, with large tulip-shaped bowl decorated in white enamel featuring monogram WSC and signed E Pope, was estimated at £7000-10,000 and sold at £15,000.

Cigar box


A rosewood cigar box used by Churchill – £61,000 at Duke’s.

On March 11, an Art Deco-style cigar box once used by Churchill was sold at Duke’s (30% buyer’s premium inc VAT) of Dorchester for £61,000.

Made in inlaid rosewood with the emblem of Cuban cigar maker Montecristo Habana and the name The Hon Winston Churchill inscribed to the lid, it included two cigars in cases, an amber and gold cigar holder and a personalised mother of pearl penknife also inscribed Winston LS Churchill.

It had been owned by Churchill’s personal valet Norman McGowan and came with a photocopy of a previous auction catalogue description stating its provenance.

The Devon vendor bought it from a London dealer 15 years ago as a gift for her father.

With competition from bidders on the phone and online (five parties quickly drove the price up to £30,000), it was hammered down to a private British collector well above the estimate of £5000-7000.