Oscar Nemon (British, 1906-1985) Sir Winston Churchill 19.8 cm. (7 3/4 in.) high Executed in 1953

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Lot 46AR
Oscar Nemon
(British, 1906-1985)
Sir Winston Churchill 19.8 cm. (7 3/4 in.) high Executed in 1953

Sold for £ 13,125 (US$ 17,074) inc. premium
Oscar Nemon (British, 1906-1985)
Sir Winston Churchill
plaster
19.8 cm. (7 3/4 in.) high
Executed in 1953

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    The Artist, by whom gifted to
    Sir Owen Morshead, thence by family descent
    Private Collection, U.K.

    Sir Owen, a much decorated war hero from the Great War where he served with the Prince of Wales, was Librarian at Windsor from 1926-1958. He played a key role in reorganizing the library along rational lines bringing in Kenneth Clark, for example, to catalogue the six hundred drawings by Leonardo da Vinci for the first time. This plaster bust is accompanied by a note typed by Sir Owen saying 'It was I who suggested to the Queen that a bust should be done from the life for Windsor Castle. That was in 1953, 12 years before Churchill's death. I chose Nemon, at that time an unknown sculptor. This is the original "maquette" which he made for the bust. Nemon gave it to me.'

    It is significant that Churchill's first attempt at sculpture was a bust of Nemon which he made at the same time as Nemon's now celebrated bust of him. Nemon is quoted in a newspaper article as saying 'To be looked at was a challenge to Sir Winston - a provocation. As a way of getting over this he said: 'I shall do you and you shall do me'. As soon as he started to work he became very excited. Ash fell from his cigar like autumn leaves. His spectacles slipped to the end of his nose. Roaring with excitement, he squeezed the clay. It was a terrific revelation for him. He was discovering a new field. I was not able to work at all, I was forced to remain completely still so that he could work. I had two sittings as a model for Sir Winston - the first at two o'clock in the morning'.
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