An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill on 13 June 1956, smoking a cigar and leaning on his walking stick, preparing to enter the car that will take him to his Hyde Park Gate home from the London Airport after returning from the South of France
An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill on 13 June 1956, smoking a cigar and leaning on his walking stick, preparing to enter the car that will take him to his Hyde Park Gate home from the London Airport after returning from the South of France

An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill on 13 June 1956, smoking a cigar and leaning on his walking stick, preparing to enter the car that will take him to his Hyde Park Gate home from the London Airport after returning from the South of France

London: Planet News Ltd., 13 June 1956. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill smoking a cigar and leaning on his walking stick, preparing to enter the car that will take him to his Hyde Park Gate home from the London Airport after returning from the South of France on 13 June 1956. This image measures 10 x 8 in (25.4 x 20.3 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is very good. The paper is crisp, clean, and free of scuffing with only some minor cockling to the right edge. This image features original, hand-applied retouching of the figures’ faces, clothes, and hair. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “Planet News Ltd.”, a received stamp of The Daily Telegraph from June 1956, and a typed caption. The original caption is titled “SIR WINSTON BACK FROM SOUTH OF FRANCE” and reads “LONDON: Arrival at London Airport from Nice is elder statesman and former Premier SIR WINSTON CHURCHILL. Sir Winston has been in the South of France for three weeks holiday. He is to spend the night in his house at Hyde Park Gate. June 13th 1956”. Little more than a year earlier, on 5 April 1955, Churchill had resigned his second and final premiership at the age of 80. Life in June 1956 was fundamentally different than it had been in early 1955. Churchill had irrevocably relinquished the reins of power. At the end of May 1956, “Churchill returned yet again to the South of France, for a two-week holiday at La Pausa” (the French Riviera villa owned by Churchill’s longtime literary agent and friend Emery Reves, acquired by Reves in 1953 with proceeds earned from foreign language rights of Churchill’s The Second World War). “For the second two weeks of June and all of July, Churchill stayed at Chartwell, with the exception of a brief racing excursion to Germany.” (Gilbert, VIII, pp. 1199-1200) At Chartwell, Churchill worked on the final volume of his A History of the English-Speaking Peoples – his last great published work. His doctor, Lord Moran, asked on 19 June if it would come ‘right up to the present’. Churchill replied “No, no. I stop in Victoria’s reign. I could not write about the woe and ruin of the terrible twentieth century. We answered all the tests. But it was useless.” (Moran diary, 19 June 1956) 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, culminating in his death on 24 January 1965 and his remarkably elaborate state funeral. In attendance were “six sovereigns, six presidents and sixteen prime ministers” as well as representatives of 112 nations. Queen Elizabeth II also attended – the first time in a century that a British monarch attend a commoner’s funeral. Before the service in St. Paul’s cathedral, Churchill’s coffin had passed through the countryside on a train. The Oxford don, Dr. A. L. Rowse, recorded “The Western sky filled with the lurid glow of winter sunset; the sun setting on the British Empire.” 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. Item #005439

Price: $50.00

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