• Chartwell – The top 10 Appeal Objects

    This is a repost, originally posted by the National Trust here.

    In honor of tomorrow’s election day in the US, it seemed an appropriate time to consider the legacy of Winston Churchill.
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    With our appeal, we hope to acquire over 1,000 individual items that belonged to Sir Winston Churchill at Chartwell. This includes: six major awards, gifts and prizes, 12 freedom awards, 12 gifts from individuals and groups, 48 medallions, six personal souvenirs and 898 inscribed books. A successful fundraising appeal will ensure the historic collection can remain permanently at Chartwell for visitors and future generations to enjoy.

     No.1 Nobel Prize in Literature 

    Our visitors get the rare opportunity to see a Nobel Prize up close. National Trust

    Our visitors get the rare opportunity to see a Nobel Prize up close. National Trust

    The Nobel Prize was awarded to Churchill in 1953 primarily for his oratory and iconic speeches. Many of these were composed at his Chartwell home, which features prominently in the design on the accompanying diploma.

    No.2 wooden speech box

    Help us acquire Churchill's wooden speech box for the nation

    Help us acquire Churchill’s wooden speech box for the nation

    This small, unassuming plain oak chest is described as Winston’s speech box in an inventory of his effects. It could once have held confidential notes from Churchill’s advisers ready for him to transform into rousing speeches delivered during Britain’s darkest hours of the Second World War.

    No.3 House of Commons 80th birthday book

    The House of Commons book is one of a kind, full of notable signatures of the time

    The House of Commons book is one of a kind, full of notable signatures of the time. national Trust/John Hammond

    This illuminated book in green leather was presented to Churchill by the House of Commons on his 80th birthday, November 30th 1954. It was signed by all Members as a tribute of their affection to him. The birthday book also came with a House of Commons retirement vote of thanks; together these items are unique in how they acknowledge the incredible parliamentary career of Sir Winston.

    No.4 miniature paint box

    Such a small item was so personal to Sir Winston Churchill. National Trust/John Hammond

    Such a small item was so personal to Sir Winston Churchill. National Trust/John Hammond

    Churchill once declared, “If it weren’t for painting, I couldn’t live” – and this tiny silver paint box is a powerful reminder of his prolific output as an artist, much of which can be seen in the house and studio at Chartwell. It is made from hall-marked Silver by Charles Roberson & Co., containing 9 colour tablets on a fixing ring. Roberson & Co. are Artists’ Colour Makers and Stationers and were regular suppliers to Churchill from 1915, the year he took up painting as a pastime.

    No.5 collection of medallions

    Churchill's cabinet holds an eclectic mix of medals and medallions. National Trust Ciaran McKrickard

    Churchill’s cabinet holds an eclectic mix of medals and medallions. National Trust Ciaran McKrickard

    Our appeal hopes to acquire almost fifty of Churchill’s medallions at Chartwell, reflecting his long and varied life and career. Highlights include his City of New York Medal of Honor, which was given to Churchill on his first visit to the USA as a peacetime Prime Minister. He is said to have received this medallion from the Mayor of New York while in his pyjamas in his hotel bed when struck down with a cold.

    No.6 hairbrushes made from wood from H.M.S Exeter

    Winston Churchill's hairbrush is simply irreplaceable. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    Winston Churchill’s hairbrush is simply irreplaceable. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    It’s telling that these hairbrushes were made from the H.M.S Exeter for only three people; the Captain of the ship, King George VI and Churchill – even though Chamberlain was Prime Minister at the time. The wood was taken from the deck of the ship as it was being refitted, after heavy damages in the Battle of Riverplate in 1939.

    No.7 Louis XV embroidered armchair

    The embroidery on this chair is stunning. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    The embroidery on this chair is stunning. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    This carved and gilt chair, upholstered in needlework, was given to Churchill as part of the Brighton Freedom Award from the people of Brighton in 1947. He had an early association with the city as he was educated at ‘The Misses Thompson’s Preparatory School’ in Hove between 1883 and 1885, and assured the city that the chair would ‘always be cherished by me and my wife and by those who come after us’.

    No.8 The Estuary of the River Scheldt at Antwerp oil painting

    Your money will help keep paintings like this at Chartwell, for everyone's enjoyment.  National Trust/James Dobson

    Your money will help keep paintings like this at Chartwell, for everyone’s enjoyment. National Trust/James Dobson

    Signed by the artist Isidore Opsomer in 1945, this large oil painting was part of the Antwerp Freedom Award gifted to Churchill ‘whose steadfast trust and fortitude paved the way to the liberation of our country, of our city, of our port’. It was presented to Churchill on 17 November 1945 during a visit to Belgium, along with a lectern and colour print. It currently takes pride of place in the hall at Chartwell.

    No.9 lion sculpture

    The lion sculpture was a gift of gratitude from Luxembourg to Sir Winston Churchill. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    The lion sculpture was a gift of gratitude from Luxembourg to Sir Winston Churchill. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    The proud bronze sculpture was gifted to Churchill as part of the Luxembourg Freedom Award in gratitude by the people of Luxembourg after the Second World War. It has pride of place in front of the study, at the beating heart of Chartwell where Churchill worked into the small hours on his speeches, books and strategies. The lion is one of a pair that sat outside Luxembourg City Hall, cast in Paris in 1932 by sculptor Auguste Trémont (1892-1980).

    No.10 collection of inscribed books

    No.10 collection of inscribed booksWe are hoping to acquire a total of 922 volumes, which make up 898 inscribed book titles in the drawing room. The collection consists of gift inscriptions from friends, family and well-wishers, unsolicited presentation copies of books by strangers, as well as presentation copies from authors who were genuine friends and colleagues. Together, the inscribed books give a powerful impression of what a public institution Churchill became. The complete story however is yet to be told, with many of the books as-yet unopened whilst in the National Trust's care. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    No.10 collection of inscribed booksWe are hoping to acquire a total of 922 volumes, which make up 898 inscribed book titles in the drawing room. The collection consists of gift inscriptions from friends, family and well-wishers, unsolicited presentation copies of books by strangers, as well as presentation copies from authors who were genuine friends and colleagues. Together, the inscribed books give a powerful impression of what a public institution Churchill became. The complete story however is yet to be told, with many of the books as-yet unopened whilst in the National Trust’s care. National Trust/Chris Lacey

    We are hoping to acquire a total of 922 volumes, which make up 898 inscribed book titles in the drawing room. The collection consists of gift inscriptions from friends, family and well-wishers, unsolicited presentation copies of books by strangers, as well as presentation copies from authors who were genuine friends and colleagues. Together, the inscribed books give a powerful impression of what a public institution Churchill became. The complete story however is yet to be told, with many of the books as-yet unopened whilst in the National Trust’s care.

    Special mention: Aachen Charlemagne Prize

    The Aachen Charlemagne is one of the most prestigious prizes in Europe. National Trust/John Hammond

    The Aachen Charlemagne is one of the most prestigious prizes in Europe. National Trust/John Hammond

    Churchill’s visit to receive the prize – one of the most prestigious in Europe – was his first visit to Germany since 1945, and only his second since 1932. It consists of a medallion and manuscript. Montague Browne, who accompanied Churchill to Aachen noted, ‘That he, chief architect of Germany’s downfall, should be their guest excites him’.

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