Wednesday, January 20, 2021

Bonhams to sell The Elephant Man’s chair and two of Churchill’s cigars

Bonhams’ The Gentleman’s Library Sale on 28th and 29th January features 907 unusual lots. Amongst our favourites are a chair that was adapted for the ‘Elephant Man’, Joseph Merrick, and two cigars that were collected by a nurse who cared for Sir Winston Churchill in 1962.

 

Two of Sir Winston Churchill's cigars
Two of Sir Winston Churchill’s cigars

The cigars – for sale with a guide price of £500 to £700 – were collected by Sir Winston Churchill’s care nurse during in stay in the Middlesex Hospital in London, W1 in July 1962. Accompanied by a letter of provenance, one is just a stub but the other is unsmoked. Churchill was in the hospital being treated for a fractured femur.

 

'The Elephant Man's chair'
‘The Elephant Man’s chair’

Once owned by Joseph Merrick (1862 – 1890), a guide of just £1,200 to £1,500 for a specially adapted Victorian ebonished tub back armchair that was angled to make the ‘Elephant Man’ more comfortable. The chair has a painted strip of wood baring the words: “The Elephant Man’s Chair” on the rear and was bequeathed to Edward Charles Taylor (1860 – 1951) on Merrick’s death. Taylor was one of the few people whom had been kind to the ‘Elephant Man’ during his somewhat unfortunate and painful life. He had regularly played the violin to him and in more recent times this chair has been exhibited in the Medical Museum of the Royal London Hospital.

 

Here are two items with medical and historical connections that are available for relatively reasonable prices.

 

 

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    1 COMMENT

    1. A female critic once said to Winston Churchill, “Sir, if you were my husband, I will poison your drinks” Churchill replied “madam if you were my wife, I would drink it” I would gladly buy his cigars, and it will be a privilege to smoke them. He was the greatest Englishman who ever lived, he was living evidence of wit and wisdom in equal measure.

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