Churchill in Charge | 80th Anniversary
Online Auction: 10–20 May 2020 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

Churchill in Charge | 80th Anniversary 10–20 May 2020 • 10:00 AM EDT • New York

O n May 10, 1940 – one of the most significant days in modern history – Winston Churchill became Prime Minister of Great Britain. Germany had just invaded France and Britain would soon stand alone.

From his first day in charge, ever onwards, Churchill’s wisdom, wit, bravery and profoundly humane spirit guided the English people, and the world, through World War II to victory.

Today, Sir Winston Churchill is remembered as one of the greatest leaders and politicians to ever lead a nation. His clear-headedness in the face of catastrophe, his resolution to inspire by appealing to the very best in those around him, remains an object lesson in leadership.

It has been exactly 80 years since Churchill took charge as Prime Minister. Sotheby’s is pleased to partner with Chartwell Booksellers in presenting a dazzling collection of rare books and manuscripts that embraces the entirety of Churchill’s long life and career. Join us as we celebrate this great occasion.

All works in this sale come to Sotheby’s from Chartwell Booksellers, the only standing bookshop in the world devoted to the writings of Winston Churchill. Named for Churchill’s beloved home in England’s Kent countryside, Chartwell is now in its 37th year as an independent bookstore in the heart of midtown-Manhattan, enduring home to the world's finest selection of rare Churchilliana; from first editions and books about Winston Churchill to precious autograph letters, photographs and documents.

Auction Highlights

[Winston Churchill] — Yousuf Karsh, photographer 
Vintage silver gelatin print, signed by Karsh, 1941 [printed ca. 1951]
Estimate $20,000 – 26,000


The image was taken 30 December 1941 in an ante-room of the Ottawa House of Commons following Churchill’s address to the Canadian Parliament. The print is signed by Karsh with a white stylus on the lower right corner of the image: “J Karsh of Ottawa.” This iconic photo is rarely seen at this scope and scale.

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The Rise of Churchill
Churchill Family Literature & Letters
Churchill: the Early Years
Taking Office

Winston S. Churchill, The War Speeches. London: Cassell and Co., 1941-1946
Estimate $18,000 – 22,000

FIRST ENGLISH EDITION PRESENTATION SET INSCRIBED BY CHURCHILL on the second front free endpaper of Into Battle: "Inscribed by Winston S. Churchill, 18 February 1941, For Mrs. Johnston, In these great days.”

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The Minister Years
The Later Years

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