Churchill painting depicting his favoured whiskey sells for five times estimate at auction
A Winston Churchill painting depicting the whiskey-loving leader’s favourite tipple has sold for five times its estimate at auction.
Britain’s wartime Prime Minister was famously fond of sipping Scotch and relaxing in his spare time with paints and an easel.
In a rare still life titled Jugs and Bottles the leader combined his passions in a painting depicting a vessel filled with Johnny Walker.
The 1930s oil on canvas work has sold for almost £1 million, five times more than Sotheby’s auctioneers expected.
It depicts a scene typical of the politician’s social life at his Kent home of Chartwell, where whiskey and brandy were never in short supply.
Experts believe the market for the more than 550 pieces painted by Churchill is growing.
“Churchill’s name still resonates with the public today and we have seen new buyers entering the market and acquiring his works,” said Simon Hucker, co-head of the Modern British art department, Simon Hucker
“The story of him painting – as a still space amidst the tumult – during an incredible career, also still fascinates.”
Jugs and Bottles has become one of the best selling Chruchill pieces, achieving £983,000 at auction and going to an anonymous US buyer, shy of the £1.7 million paid for a painting of the goldfish pond at Chartwell.
The piece was originally given to American politician and envoy to the UK Averell Harriman in the 1940’s, in keeping with the Prime Minister’ habit of gifting his paintings.
The work features the black and gold of a Johnny Walker bottle next to a bottle of brandy and a glass jug, served on a silver tray.
Churchill gained a passion for painting in his 40’s after it offered solace following the disastrous Gallipoli campaign in the First World War, and he would take several holidays specifically to practice the art.