Item #005593 "POLISH NAVY MAKES PRESENTATION TO MR. CHURCHILL" - An original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill meeting with representatives of the Polish Navy at 10 Downing Street on 2 November 1943
"POLISH NAVY MAKES PRESENTATION TO MR. CHURCHILL" - An original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill meeting with representatives of the Polish Navy at 10 Downing Street on 2 November 1943

"POLISH NAVY MAKES PRESENTATION TO MR. CHURCHILL" - An original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill meeting with representatives of the Polish Navy at 10 Downing Street on 2 November 1943

London: British Official Photograph (War Office, Crown Copyright Reserved), issued by Photographic News Agencies, Ltd., 1943. Photograph. This is an original Second World War British War Office photograph of Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill meeting with representatives of the Polish Navy at 10 Downing Street on 2 November 1943. Pictured, right to left, are Prime Minister Churchill, Vice Admiral Swirsky, Chief of the Polish Navy, Captain Stoklasa, Polish Naval Attache, and Commander Kodrebski, Chief of Staff of the Polish Navy.

The gelatin silver print on heavy glossy photo paper measures 8 x 6 in (20.32 x15.24 cm). Condition is very good, the image clean and crisp, the paper showing only light wear, primarily confined to the corners.

The verso of the photograph is quite informative. An ink stamp at the lower right clearly states that this is a “BRITISH OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH” that was “ISSUED BY PHOTOGRAPHIC NEWS AGENCIES LTD.” to the left of the ink stamp is notation in pencil explaining how the image was stored in the archives: “file under the Poles not the PM”. The balance of the verso is taken up by the original, quite extensive, original typed caption. This caption begins with an embargo date “FOR FIRST PUBLICATION DAILY PAPERS, WEDNESDAY, 3.11.43.” The caption slip identifies this image as “BRITISH OFFICIAL PHOTOGRAPH NO. BH. 21738 (XP) (War Office Photograph. – Crown Copyright Reserved). The caption is titled “POLISH NAVY MAKES PRESENTATION TO MR. CHURCHILL.” The caption text reads: “To commemorate the fourth anniversary of the co-operation of the Royal Navy and the Polish Navy, a presentation was made to Mr. Churchill by representatives of the Polish Navy. The presentation took the form of a silver plaque showing three Polish destroyers steaming to meet H.M.S. Wallace off May Island on September 1st, 1939, and was made by Vice Admiral SWIRSKI, Chief of the Polish Navy. The Presentation took place at 10 Downing Street on November 2nd, 1943. A similar ceremony took place at the Admiralty, when a replica of the plaque was presented to Mr. A.V. Alexander, First Lord of the Admiralty. Picture shows – Right to left, the Prime Minister, Vice Admiral SWIRSKI (Chief of the Polish Navy), Capt. STOKLASA (Polish Navy Attache) and Commander KODREBSKI (Chief of Staff, Polish Navy). (Picture issued November, 1943)”. The embargo date is restated at the end of the caption: “FOR FIRST PUBLICATION DAILY PAPERS, WEDNESDAY, 3.11.43.”

This press photo once belonged to a newspaper’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 #005593

Price: $120.00

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