Signed photograph.Stock Code: 137428
NotesWalter Stoneman's photographic portrait of Churchill, this example signed and dated 1949 by Churchill on the mount, sent to his former coachman Fred Best. When Churchill bought the Chartwell estate in 1922, Best had been coachman there for 40 years, living in the stable block. Churchill had no need of a coachman, but nonetheless employed Best for another decade, to take care of the ponies and to teach his children to ride.
A two-page autograph presentation letter signed from Churchill's daughter Mary Soames accompanies the photograph. "My dear Best, I told Mr. Churchill about my visit to you the other day, and he was so pleased to know you'd asked after him. He has asked me to send you this photograph, which he has signed - with his best wishes, and in memory of old times. I hope you are keeping well; I expect you like this mild spring weather. With kindest regards to you and Miss Best. Yours v. sincerely, Mary Soames". Best died later in 1949.
Included are other associated ephemera: three Christmas cards from Soames; a photograph of horses and riders with notes on verso; a childhood portrait presumed of Soames; an obituary clipping of Best; and a facsimile letter sent by Churchill to well-wishers in 1945 after the conclusion of the war.
Mounted portrait photograph. Image size 96 x 73 mm, mount size 165 x 110 mm, photographer's stamp on reverse of mount.
Slight silvering at edges, mount sometime hole punched, crease to mount, yet otherwise in very good condition.
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