DAY 1 OF “TWELVETIDE” CATALOGUE HIGHLIGHTS
We’re rather proud of our new 40th Anniversary catalogue.
Over the next twelve days of “Twelvetide” we thought we would share with you 12 of its highlights.
A Signed Formal Wartime Portrait Photograph of Winston Churchill as Prime Minister
Framed with Churchill’s Original Presentation Slip
WALTER STONEMAN (1876-1958), who regularly photographed Churchill for the portrait firm
J. Russell & Sons, was working for the National Photographic Record when he arrived at 10 Downing Street on the 1st of April, 1941, and was escorted up to the Cabinet Room. Sensing the historical significance of the sitting, Stoneman recorded not just the date but the hour that his picture was taken: “3pm.” At that moment, Churchill was awaiting word of Germany’s invasion of Yugoslavia. Enigma decrypted German messages had not only enabled him to predict Germany’s Balkan plans, they had revealed to him Germany’s “magnitude of design,” as he termed it, against its ally, Russia. As a result, Churchill made the dangerous decision to send a personal message of warning to Joseph Stalin. It was a message that Stalin would choose to ignore. Reputedly, a copy of this photograph was later kept by Stalin on his desk in the Kremlin.
Our print measures 4 1/2 x 5 inches and is floridly signed in ink by Churchill on the 5 x 8-inch card mount.
It is matted and framed with the original typed presentation slip on Prime Minister-headed notepaper:
“With Mr. Churchill’s Compliments. March, 1945.” It is worth noting that Churchill crossed the Rhine with General Bernard Montgomery on March 25, 1945. This photograph, in a sense, encompasses the range of Churchill’s war: from the “beginning of the end” in 1941, when Germany invaded Russia, to the near-end in 1945, when the Allies crossed the Rhine into Germany and ultimate victory.