An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill, Lady Clementine Churchill, and their granddaughter, Edwina Sandys on 1 April 1963, Clementine's 78th birthday
Price: 90.00 USD
London: Central Press Photos Ltd, 1963. This original press photograph features Winston S. Churchill, Lady Clementine Churchill, and their granddaughter, Edwina Sandys (at the time Edwina Dixon) celebrating Clementine's 78th birthday. This image measures 8 x 10 in (20.3 x 25.4 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is very good. The paper is crisp, clean, and free of scuffing with only some light bruising to the corners contained within the margin. The verso features the copyright stamp of "Central Press Photos Ltd.", a purple received stamp of The Daily Telegraph from April 1963, and a typed caption. The original caption is titled "LADY CHURCHILL'S 78TH BIRTHDAY", is dated "1.4.63" and reads "LADY CHURCHILL, who celebrated her 78th Birthday today, leaving with SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL after attending a small family luncheon in the Westminster flat of her daughter Mary - wife of Mr. Christopher Soames, Minister of Agriculture. On the right is Sir Winston's grand-daughter Mrs. Piers Dixon." Churchill's advanced age and physical and mental decline seem visible in both his posture and facial expression. Yet Martin Gilbert notes that despite Churchill's failing health and motor difficulties he handwrote a birthday note to Clementine as had been his tradition for fifty-five years. In a shaky hand he wrote, "My darling One, This is only to give you my fondest love and kisses, a hundred times repeated. I am a pretty dull & paltry scribbler; but my stick as I write carries my heart along with it. Yours ever & always". (Vol. VIII, p. 1342) Churchill's granddaughter had married Piers Dixon at age 22, whom she would later divorce, reclaiming her maiden name Edwina Sandys and, like her grandfather, becoming an artist. This press photo once belonged to The Daily Telegraph's working archive. During the first half of the twentieth century, photojournalism grew as a practice, fundamentally changing the way the public interacted with current events. Newspapers assembled expansive archives, including physical copies of all photographs published or deemed useful for potential future use, their versos typically marked with ink stamps and notes providing provenance and captions. Photo departments would often take brush, paint, pencil, and marker to the surface of photographs themselves to edit them before publication. Today these photographs exist as repositories of historical memory, technological artifacts, and often striking pieces of vernacular art. Winston S. Churchill was 80 years old when he resigned his second and final premiership on 5 April 1955. During the last decade of his long life, Churchill passed "into a living national memorial" of the time he had lived and the Nation, Empire, and free world he had served. When this image was captured, Churchill had less than two years left to live. The day after Churchill died, on 25 January 1965, the Queen sent a message to Parliament announcing: "Confident in the support of Parliament for the due acknowledgement of our debt of gratitude and in thanksgiving for the life and example of a national hero" and concluded "I have directed that Sir Winston's body shall lie in State in Westminster Hall and that thereafter the funeral service shall be held in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul." Churchill's state funeral was attended by the Queen herself, other members of the royal family, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner's funeral.