Bulletin No. 60 Parliamentary Despatch

Welcome to Bulletin No.60 which this time embraces a number of objects and works relating to the Palace of Westminster and British political history. Foremost amongst the personality pieces is a Second World War bust of the soldier statesman Sir Winston Churchill by Albert Toft, FRBS. (1862-1949). This is counterbalanced at the other end of the political spectrum by a masterful preliminary sketch of the Labour leader Sir Harold Wilson, KG, by Ruskin Spear, CBE, RA, (1911-1990) for one of his Oxford college portraits. The origins of the British two party system are neatly encapsulated a fine and impressive 18th century rose bowl commemorating The Glorious Revolution and the rise of the Whig Supremacy that remained in place until George III allowed the return of the Tories. The Liberals get a look in on the bulletin, with perhaps one the weirdest of political momentos - a slither of timber, mounted and adoringly varnished by a party loyalist who considered him or herself fortunate enough to witness four time Prime Minister W.E. Gladstone in action with his famous felling axe. If the ghost of Gladstone returned to Westminster today he would inevitably encounter the ongoing programme of renovation and renewal, that was last addressed in the wake of German aerial bombing during WWII. A selection of George Horace Davies’ original cutaway drawings and political infographics of the 1940s and 50s are fascinating reminders of the evolution of the existing parliamentary estate where construction first began in the 1840s. The accompanying stock update to the ASJ website includes plenty more besides including a fine Second Empire bust of arch master of politicking, Napoleon I, that would have happily graced the mantel of any budding Bonapartist!
The Glorious Revolution & War of Spanish Succession - Rose Bowl, 1784
George Horace Davies’ original cutaway drawings of the House of Commons
Field Marshal Montgomery Signed Presentation Portrait Photograph, Berlin 1945
Best regards,

James, Toby & George