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Winston Churchill - Autographed Signed 80th Birthday Press Photograph, 1954
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Winston Churchill - Autographed Signed 80th Birthday Press Photograph, 1954

Measurements: Overall: 34cm (13.5in) x 39cm (15.5in)

£1200

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Provenance: Mr Tomkins, Epping, Essex.

Black and white press photo of Churchill standing over his birthday cake during his 80th birthday celebrations at 10 Downing Street. Signed in the Prime Minister’s hand on the image. Framed and glazed with a Churchill A.L.S. on 10 Downing street notepaper to Mr Tomkins together with an associated newspaper cutting. Image and mount: 18cm (7in) x 23cm (9in).

Churchill’s 80th birthday was an event of national interest and began with an intimate morning celebration for family and staff at 10 Downing Street. His birthday cake with eight sides to represent each decade of his life was a welcome gift enjoyed by his inner circle, and with rationing still in effect, something of a treat. It proved a considerably more welcome gift than the controversial Sutherland portrait which the P.M. received in a ceremony at noon in Westminster Hall. The octagonal cake was created by Essex baker Michael Tomkins at the request of Colonel Hugh Barlow-Wheeler, Churchill’s political agent as a gift from the Woodford constituency association.  “It was a proud moment,” Mr Tomkins recalled in 2010, “I gave it to (Churchill) personally at Chigwell Manor Hall and then I presented it at 10 Downing Street. I never heard anything more after I delivered it to Downing Street and all I remember was he was pleased to receive it.”

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