Over these twelve days of “Twelvetide” we are sharing 12 highlights from our new 40th Anniversary catalogueHaving taken Sunday off, we are back with two highlights for the price of… well, two highlights. Both are signed First Editions of Churchill’s Second World War Memoirs.

#6 & 7 


(One American & One English)

Our first set is the finest First American edition that we have ever seen, in terms of condition; quite literally mint in every respect, each pristine dust-jacketed volume preserved intact in individual red half-leather solanders lettered in gilt on the spines. Volume I is signed and dated on the front free endpaper: “Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill 1952.”

This book was presented to JAMES E. WEBB, who served in President Truman’s administration as Under-Secretary of State to Dean Acheson before becoming Administrator of NASA during the Kennedy and Johnson administration; the agency’s Golden Age. A Webb family blindstamp is embossed in two places on the signature page, not affecting the signature. The new $10-billion James Webb Space Telescope currently making headlines with extraordinary images of distant galaxies, planets and other outer space treasures is named for Mr. Webb. Acquired by direct descent from the Webb family.

Our second set is a First English edition signed in Volume III on the half-title to Churchill’s valet: “Inscribed for Norman McGowan, Winston S. Churchill, 1951.”

NORMAN McGOWAN served as Winston Churchill’s valet from 1949 until retiring in 1952. He subsequently published a memoir, MY YEARS WITH CHURCHILL, in 1958. A First English edition copy of that book is included here, preserved in a blue quarter-leather solander.

Both sets are in lovely condition, with intimate provenances that certainly are a highlight. Or two.

More tomorrow.