Churchillsfalseteeth Clipped Rev 1

Winston Churchill's false teeth, estimate £5000-8000 at The Cotswold Auction Company.

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The dentures are among memorabilia relating to two heavyweights of the British Second World War collecting scene - Winston Churchill and Douglas Bader - on offer at The Cotswold Auction Company in Cheltenham on February 6.

Estimated at £5000-8000, the false teeth were designed for Churchill by his dentist Sir Wilfred Fish and made by Fish’s technician Derek Cudlipp. Cudlipp made a duplicate which is in the Royal College of Surgeons museum (the Hunterian).

Churchillmic2 Clipped Rev 2

Winston Churchill microphone believed to have been used on VE Day, estimate £5000-8000 at The Cotswold Auction Company.

Another lot linked to the wartime prime minister is a Grampian radio microphone reputedly used by him to deliver a VE Day speech at Westminster. After the war it found its way to the US where it was displayed in a high-end New Mexico restaurant.

It is mounted on a wooden plinth with a brass plate which bears the inscription The Price of Freedom is Eternal Vigilance. Winston S Churchill. The side of the microphone base has a printed label with a quote from a Churchill speech of December 5, 1942. Underneath the plinth is a typed label which reads This microphone was used on the VE Day gathering at Westminster Chapel by Winston S Churchill after addressing his cabinet.

The mic is also guided at £5000-8000.

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Book of Heroes containing 107 signatures from RAF officers, many of whom fought in the Battle of Britain, including Douglas Bader, estimate £10,000-20,000 at The Cotswold Auction Company.

In the same auction, a Book of Heroes containing 107 signatures from RAF officers, many of whom fought in the Battle of Britain, including Douglas Bader, is estimated at £10,000-20,000. The autographs were collected in 1941 by Norman Phillips, a mess steward at RAF Martlesham Heath.

It is contained in a brass-mounted glass casket (the inscription is shown in the photos). Other signatures include Squadron Leader RR Stanford-Tuck, Wing Commander AD Farquhar, Squadron Leader AWA Bayne, American volunteers from 71 American Eagle Squadron, and other pilots from Canada, Australia, Poland and Czechoslovakia. Many of them did not survive the war.

The book’s leather cover was cut from a mess chair by renowned Bader. According to the auction house, Churchill, in conversation with Bader, called the book “not a book of names, but a book of heroes. God forbid it should ever be lost.”

The memorabilia has come from the estate of an avid Gloucestershire-based collector, who purchased the Churchill memorabilia and the Book of Heroes at Bonhams and other auctions some years ago. They include all the paperwork showing provenance, says the saleroom.

Churchill mania

The continued huge demand for 'Churchillania' is evident from the result for the remains of a cigar given to Hugh Stonehewer-Bird, consul general in Rabat, Morocco, from 1943-45, following an event he hosted for the PM during the Second World War.

Hugh Stonehewer-Bird preserved it for posterity in a  glass jar bearing an official On His Majesty’s Service handwritten label. It states: This cigar was smoked by Winston Churchill on August 29th, 1944 at Rabat, Morocco, at a dinner party given for him by Mr and Mrs Stonehewer-Bird.

Guided at £1000-1500 in Hanson’s auction in June last year, it did rather better – hammered down at £5500.

However, it still had some way to go to make what is believed to be a Churchill cigar record. An unsmoked example offered at Bonhams in March 2023 took an astounding £20,000 hammer price, 10 times its top estimate.

The recipient of the cigar and signed note was Leonard Herbert Norman of Price Waterhouse & Co who acted as auditor of the Chequers Trust from 1949-57 and was thus required to attend their regular meetings, chaired by the incumbent Prime Minister.

On November 14, 1953, Norman attended a lavish lunch hosted by the Churchills at Chequers. After attempting (and failing) to keep up with the PM ‘drink for drink’ during lunch and enjoying wide-ranging conversation, he recalled that when “...the cigar box was circulated for the second time I didn’t feel equal to smoking another... but I did take one and hastily put it unseen (I think) into an inner pocket and still have it today...”