Friday 11 March 2011
Churchill Garter Stall Plate for sale.
Image courtesy of Bonhams.
The auction house Bonhams is to sell Churchill's original Garter Stall Plate at its sale to be held on 29th March 2011. Listed as a part of Roy David's collection the details are given as:
CHURCHILL, Sir WINSTON (1874-1965, statesman, Prime Minister, war leader, and author)
THE ORIGINAL GARTER STALL PLATE USED AT THE INSTALLATION OF CHURCHILL AS A KNIGHT OF THE GARTER AT ST. GEORGE'S CHAPEL AT WINDSOR IN 1953, bronze, gilt and enamel, bearing the Spencer-Churchill fully marshalled coat of arms in their right colours, with the Garter encircling the shield carrying the motto of the Order 'Honi soit qui mal y pense', and surmounted by helmets, one crowned and both mantled with crest, above: the family motto in Spanish 'Fiel pero desdichado' ('Faithful though Unfortunate') and below in three lines: 'Winston Leonard / Spencer-Churchill / MCMLIII', in extremely fine condition, the plate 7¼ x 4½ inches (18 x 11.5 cm), mounted on hardwood and framed and glazed in a good ebony frame, overall size c.13 x 11½ inches (33 x 29 cm), for St. George's Chapel, 1953
Estimate: £10,000 - 12,000, € 12,000 - 14,000
The Garter Stall Plate for the highest honour accepted by arguably the greatest Englishman of the twentieth century, the Most Noble Order of the Garter. A unique and extraordinary item of Churchilliana.
The stall plate was made by the firm William Soper and Son. Due to the shortness of time prior to the Installation, Soper had been unable to finish enamelling the plate to the standard they would have wished, so after it had been temporarily placed in Sir Winston's stall (or seat) in St. George's Chapel for the ceremony of his installation it was returned to Soper for the finishing touches to be made. It is understood that Sir Winston was approached to finance the finishing but declined to do so. A plate of more modest manufacture now marks the stall once occupied by the present plate and Sir Winston.
The Order of the Garter, England's highest order of knighthood, consists of only twenty-four Knights at any one time, other than the sovereign and the Prince of Wales. Each Knight has his seat or stall in St. George's Chapel at Windsor on which his stall plate is mounted.
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