An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill, iconic with hat and cigar, apparently taken on 29 April 1964, reportedly en route to the House of Commons

An original press photo of Sir Winston S. Churchill, iconic with hat and cigar, apparently taken on 29 April 1964, reportedly en route to the House of Commons

London: Sport & General Press Agency, 30 April 1964. Photograph. This is an original press photo of Winston S. Churchill, waving out of a car window while smoking a cigar, apparently en route to the House of Commons on 29 April 1964 during one of his rare public appearances in the final year of his life. This image measures 8 x 10 in (20.3 x 25.4 cm) on matte photo paper. Condition is very good. The paper is crisp with only light wear to the edges, a crease in the margin of the lower right corner, original crop markings, and light scuffing visible only under raking light. This image features original, hand-painted retouching of Churchill’s hat, hand, and face as well as airbrushing applied to the background to enhance contrast for publication. The verso bears the copyright stamp of “SPORT & GENERAL PRESS AGENCY”, a purple publication stamp of The Daily Telegraph from 30 April 1964, a clipping of the caption as it was printed in the newspaper, remnants of a typed caption, and handwritten printing notations. The original clipping caption affixed to the photograph verso reads: “Sir Winston Churchill leaving his home in Hyde Park Gate for the commons yesterday. Given the published date of the photo – 30 April 1964 – that would imply a visit to the Commons on 29 April. This is an intriguing mystery. Churchill’s official biographer, Martin Gilbert, does not detail any public appearances by Churchill between a play featuring his granddaughter on 15 April and a visit to the House of Commons on 4 June. Nonetheless, the published date and caption on this photograph are unequivocal. Whatever the occasion of Churchill’s outing in this photograph, this is certainly among the last times that the former Prime Minister made a public appearance. He would visit the House of Commons only twice more – on 4 June and 27 July 1964. In this photograph, despite his advanced age and failing health, he looks like his iconic self, engaging the camera and armed with hat and cigar. Winston S. Churchill was 80 years old when he resigned his second and final premiership on 5 April 1955. 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. The day after Churchill died, on 25 January 1965, the Queen sent a message to Parliament announcing: "Confident in the support of Parliament for the due acknowledgement of our debt of gratitude and in thanksgiving for the life and example of a national hero" and concluded "I have directed that Sir Winston's body shall lie in State in Westminster Hall and that thereafter the funeral service shall be held in the Cathedral Church of St. Paul.”  Churchill's state funeral was attended by the Queen herself, other members of the royal family, the Prime Minister, Harold Wilson, and representatives of 112 countries. It was the first time in a century that a British monarch attended a commoner’s funeral. 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 #005391

Price: $90.00

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