Winston Churchill (1874-1965) was one of the most important statesmen of the 20th century. He was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from 1940 to 1945 and from 1951 to 1955. Besides being a politician, army officer, writer and orator, he was an accomplished self-taught artist who took great pleasure in painting.
Churchill began painting when he was in his 40s, inspired by the Impressionist paintings he saw in Paris. During his lifetime, he produced around 500 works. Though Churchill’s best-known paintings are impressionist landscapes, many of which were painted while on vacation in the South of France, Egypt or Morocco, he also painted still lives and portraits. He was known for unrestrainedly using bright blues and greens, ripe reds, oranges and yellows in his paintings.
In 2014, Churchill’s painting “The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell” sold for £1.8 million ($2.7 million) including fees, setting a record for the artist, when it was auctioned at Sotheby’s London.
Next week Sotheby’s will feature his artworks in London at its Modern and Post-War British Art Evening Sale on June 12, 2018 and also two of his works at Modern & Post-War British Art Day Sale on June 12, 2018 - June 13, 2018.
Here is a performance analysis of Winston Churchill’s artworks in the auction market:
1. Sales Trend in the Past 20 Years
2014 was a remarkable year for the artist with sale totaling over 17 million for 18 lots. The following graph shows the Churchill’s year-on-year performance in total sales and number of works sold.
2. Volume of Artworks on Offer vs. Bought-in Rate
In 2014 the artist had a 100 percent sell rate with all of his 18 lots featuring in auctions getting sold. A trend of artworks offered at auction and the bought-in rate can be observed in the graph below.
3. Average and Median Sale Price Trend in the Past 20 Years
In 2014, Churchill’s sale prices averaged $955,840, and the median price for his works that year was $957,883 million, both record highs that were a result of the record-setting sale of “The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell” for $2.7 million at Sotheby’s London.
Since 2014, there has been a decline in the number of his paintings sold at auction, bringing down the average sale price of the artist.
4. Highest-Priced Artworks
Churchill‘s top 10 artworks, in terms of selling price, all were sold at Sotheby’s London. His highest-ever sale was “The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell,” at $2.7 million in December 2014. The oil on canvas from 1962 and depicts the beloved goldfish pool in the garden of Churchill and his wife Clementine’s home at Chartwell – the place most closely linked to his development as a painter.
The second highest sale was “Chartwell landscape with sheep,” signed with initials, which sold for $1.8 million in 2007. The third highest sale occurred in 2014 when “Tapestries at Blenheim,” painted in 1930, fetched $1.7 million. The work shows the greatness of the tapestry room at Blenheim Palace, his birthplace, and was a gift to his daughter.
5. Price Band in Which His Works Have Sold in the Past 30 Years
More than 49 percent of his artworks were sold in the price band of $100,000 to $1 million, followed by 24.2 percent between $10,000 and $50,000. Nine works, or 7.5 percent, sold for over $1 million.
6. Where His Works Have Sold the Most in the Past 30 Years
More than half of Churchill’s works have sold at Sotheby’s accounting for 73.5 percent of his total sales over 30-year period. Christie’s auctioned 39.5 percent of his works, accounting for about a quarter of total sales.
Based on the geographical location of sale of his works, the United Kingdom leads with $39.9 million, followed by the United States and Germany.
Founder Louise Blouin