“The Moat, Breccles”, a landscape in oil signed in 1921 by Winston Churchill, is estimated by Phillips between 1.5 and 2 million dollars, far from the 11.6 million dollars reported by another painting of the Prime Minister British Wartime Sold by Angelina Jolie at Christie’s last March. .
But even if it doesn’t break records, this landscape – which Churchill mentioned in a December 1921 essay titled “Painting as a Pastime” – might appeal to both history buffs and celebrities alike.
Churchill kept the painting for 40 years before gifting it in 1961, four years before his death, to his friend the Greek shipping magnate Aristotle Onassis, Phillips vice-president Jean-Paul told AFP. Engelen.
The mogul was so proud of his gift that he hung it in a place of honor – behind the bar of his yacht – alongside works by Vermeer, Gauguin, Le Greco and Pissarro.
This super yacht, named “Christina” after Onassis’ daughter, was a former Canadian Navy frigate, nearly 100 meters long. It was part of the Normandy landings before Onassis bought the post-war ship for $ 34,000.
Onassis had it lavishly renovated to the tune of $ 4 million, making it “one of the most incredible structures that has ever floated,” Engelen said.
It was a favorite gathering place for the rich and famous, including Elizabeth Taylor, John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, J. Paul Getty, Eva Peron, and others.
When Onassis died in 1975, seven years after his marriage to Jackie Kennedy, the yacht was sold and everything on board was put into storage, until his heirs recently decided to part with the board.
To spark interest in the canvas, Phillips recreated the “Christina” bar – known as Ari’s Bar – in his New York showroom, including facsimiles of his famous whale teeth. , and filled the shelves with Pol Roger champagne, Churchill’s favorite champagne.