Expert Clive Farahar was on hand at Salisbury Cathedral to lend his expertise on the valuation of a letter written by Winston Churchill in 1972 in the latest instalment of the Antiques Roadshow. And, he left the owner of the letter thrilled with his valuation.
Fascinated by the letter, Clive enlightened the crowd as he described it as “extraordinary”.
“My dear Sickert,” the antiques expert began as he started to read before explaining Walter Sickert was the “Great Camden Town artist and the Great Teacher”.
Explaining the letter, Clive informed the attentive crowd Churchill wrote the letter teaching Sickert how to draw and picture things.
Arriving toward to end of the letter, the expert remarked that it was a remarkable piece and asked where the guest had got hold of it.
“I inherited this from a family friend who was a prominent art historian and he was extremely interested in Sickert,” the guest explained.
They went on to add the family friend managed to track down one of Sickert’s relatives who was gifted the goods he’d received.
Clive went on to explain that Churchill, throughout his life used paintings as a buoy to avoid the depression he was suffering from.
He added he wasn’t aware if the letter was disclosed to Churchill’s biographer but the guest remarked: “I would doubt it because, probably, it has not seen the light of day since it was probably written in 1927.”
Moving on to the valuation, Clive was curious to know what the guest’s thoughts were, asking: “have you got any ideas?”
Nodding, the guest said: “Honestly I have no ideas at all,” as he looked to Clive for help.
“Well I think it’s a fabulous letter,” the antiques expert exclaimed, reminding the guest and crowd of its significance.
Reassuring the guest, Clive highlighted that it was one of the early letters and it shows the connection between one of the greatest artist’s of the 20th Century and Winston Churchill.
“And so I would put on this, £5000,” Clive said swiftly moving on the valuation.
The guest was overwhelmed by the valuation and was left speechless as he struggled to reply: “Well, I am surprised.”
Hastily cutting in, Clive said he thought it was a lot of money for a Churchill letter.
Next week’s instalment of Antiques Roadshow will see Fiona Bruce visit the V&A museum at Dundee, where she will uncover the fascinating story behind the design of this landmark and all the treasures it houses.