The Abbeydale Vase - an elusive, striking, limited issue piece of Churchilliana produced in the final year of Sir Winston Churchill's life to commemorate his being granted Honorary Citizenship of the United States by President John F. Kennedy, copy 173 of 250
London: Commissioned from Abbeydale China by Thomas Good & Co., 1964. Limited Edition. This elusive and striking piece of Churchilliana is an elaborate, limited edition, two-piece, covered vase produced in 1964 to commemorate Winston Churchill receiving Honorary Citizenship of the United States.
"Honorary Citizenship of the United States of America was bestowed upon Churchill in April 1963. He was too ill to attend the ceremony in Washington so Randolph, his son, stood in for him. President John F. Kennedy said, in presenting the award: 'In the dark days and darker nights when Britain stood alone - and most men save Englishmen despaired of England's life - he mobilized the English language and sent it into battle.' Thomas Goode & Co of South Audley Street, London, commissioned Abbeydale China to produce the covered vase in a limited edition of 250 to mark the event. 11 inches high in a rounded octagonal shape with an eagle finial and lion head handles, richly decorated in cobalt blue, gold and raised gold, the vase carried a portrait of Churchill, his family crests and the dates of his birth, his office as Prime Minister and award of his American citizenship. Churchill died shortly after the vase was issued and it came, wrongly, to be regarded as a memorial piece." (Douglas Hall, p.172-3)
Condition is better than near fine. We find no chips or cracks and note only a little soiling where the bottom points touch the shelf. The limitation statement, in gilt on both the inner lid and the bottom of the vase, confirm that this is “No 173 FROM A SPECIAL LIMITED EDITION OF TWO HUNDRED & FIFTY”.
Despite his iconic 20th century personification of Britain’s vitality and resolve, Churchill had an American mother, Jennie Jerome (1854-1921). On 26 December 1941, when Winston S. Churchill made his first address to the American Congress, he quipped: "I cannot help reflecting that if my father had been American and my mother British, instead of the other way around, I might have got here on my own." Instead of getting there on his own, in April 1963, Churchill became the first person to receive Honorary Citizenship of the United States. In his remarks during the 9 April ceremony in the White House Rose Garden, President Kennedy said: “This is the first time that the United States Congress has solemnly resolved that the President of the United States shall proclaim an honorary citizenship for the citizen of another country.” The President proclaimed that Churchill’s “bravery, charity and valor, both in war and in peace, have been a flame of inspiration in freedom's darkest hour.” While the 88-year-old Churchill watched the White House ceremony by satellite relay from his London home, his son, Randolph, accepted the honor on his father’s behalf. On 10 April, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan wrote to Churchill to express “delight at your versatility which allows you to combine being a loyal British subject with being a good United States’ citizen.”. Item #007491