An original press photograph of Prime Minister Sir Winston S. Churchill tipping his hat as he exits 10 Downing Street heading for the House of Commons on 19 January 1954
An original press photograph of Prime Minister Sir Winston S. Churchill tipping his hat as he exits 10 Downing Street heading for the House of Commons on 19 January 1954

An original press photograph of Prime Minister Sir Winston S. Churchill tipping his hat as he exits 10 Downing Street heading for the House of Commons on 19 January 1954

London: P.A.-Reuter Photos Ltd., 19 January 1954. Photograph. This original press photograph captures Prime Minister Sir Winston S. Churchill tipping his hat as he leaves 10 Downing Street for the House of Commons on 19 January 1954. The gelatin silver print on matte photo paper measures 10 x 8 in (25.4 x 20.3 cm). Condition is very good. The paper is clean, crisp, and free of scratches with only some light edgewear and softening of the corners. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “P.A.-Reuters” and a typed caption titled “SIR WINSTON LEAVES FOR THE HOUSE”. The caption reads, "The Prime Minister, Sir WINSTON CHURCHILL, raises his hat to well-wishers in Downing-street as he leaves number ten today (Tuesday) for the House of Commons which was reassembling after the Christmas recess. January 19th 1954”. Churchill, having done so much to win the war, faced frustration of his postwar plans when his wartime government fell to Labour in the General Election on 26 July 1945. While history best remembers the war years, Churchill spent an additional decade at the apex of leadership. The events encompassed by these years are in many ways no less dramatic than those of the war years - the unraveling of the British Empire, the post-war recovery, the onset of the Cold War, Soviet acquisition of the atomic bomb, development of the hydrogen bomb, the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, and the beginning of the space age (to name a few). Churchill served as Leader of the Opposition for more than six years until the October 1951 General Election, when his Conservatives outpolled Labour, returning Churchill to 10 Downing Street for his second and final premiership (1951-1955). Churchill would finally and irrevocably relinquish the reins of power less than fifteen months after this image was taken, on 5 April 1955 at the age of 80. During the final 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 attended 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.” 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. Few of the 20th century’s statesmen lent themselves to the medium with such photogenic alacrity as Winston Churchill. Item #005444

Price: $150.00

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