A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected. (The Canadian Press)

Painting of B.C. lake by Winston Churchill sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work in 1929 during visit to an area near Field

A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected.

Churchill painted the work during a visit to the area near Field, B.C., in 1929 in the years before he became prime minister of the United Kingdom.

The heavily damaged piece was initially listed on the Sotheby’s of London auction site and was estimated to sell between $11,000 and $15,000. It sold for $87,257.

“My family and I are obviously delighted at the sale price,” owner Bill Murray wrote in an email to The Canadian Press from his home in Devon, England. “Even in its damaged state, it is a wonderful painting and the link with Sir Winston’s visit to your area in 1929, is just about unique.”

The painting was a gift from Churchill to Murray’s father, Sgt. Edmund Murray, who was his bodyguard from 1950 to 1965.

“Having read all the pre-sale reports in the Canadian media, I am not really surprised that this great painting attained such a high figure. Churchill paintings are much sought-after,” Murray said.

“Had it not been damaged, it would have fetched a much higher price and perhaps ended up in a private collection in Russia or China, never to be seen again.”

There’s no official word on who bought the painting or where it will ultimately end up, but Murray said he has his suspicions.

“I am pretty sure that it will go to Canada, although Sotheby’s are very discreet when it comes to letting out information about the buyer, even to the seller.”

The painting was originally mislabelled as Lake Louise, Alta., but Calgary historian David Finch saw a photo of it and let it be known it was Emerald Lake.

“To be clear, I’m the obnoxious Canadian who challenged the location of the painting, came to be involved but I am not an expert at painting or Churchill history – an innocent bystander.”

Finch said Churchill had been painting for years, a hobby he picked up to cope with depression. He said the trip to Canada and the U.S. gave him a chance to escape his troubles at home.

“He’d been run out of England with his tail between his legs. His government had fallen. He’d lost his own seat. He was desperate for an escape from all his trials and tribulations so he and his brother and his two sons came on a tour of North America,” said Finch.

Finch said he’s no art critic but Churchill painted a lot of paintings over the years and this likely isn’t his best work.

“I don’t think much of it but somebody obviously does to pay that kind of money for it.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

Ocean “Blob” returns to North Coast of B.C.

A 2,000 kilometre patch of warm ocean water could signal a warm winter in Prince Rupert

‘Police are ready’ for legal pot, say Canadian chiefs

But Canadians won’t see major policing changes as pot becomes legal

VIDEO: This is what buying legal pot in B.C. looks like

Take a look inside B.C.’s first and only legal pot shop located in Kamloops

10 things still illegal in the new age of recreational cannabis

Pot is legal – but there are still a lot of rules, and breaking some could leave you in jail

CCRD Candidates detail their election platforms

More candidate profiles to come….

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. passenger caught smoking weed in a car issued $230 fine

Saanich police did a field sobriety test on the driver and deemed it safe for him to drive

Payette invites critics to ‘come and spend a few days’ with her

Governor General Julie Payette made her first official to B.C. back in March

More pot stores expected in B.C. in coming ‘weeks and months’: attorney general

Attorney General David Eby and Public Safety Minister Mike Farnworth visited the new BC Cannabis Store in the province’s Interior

Telus launches charitable foundation to help vulnerable youth

The Telus Friendly Future Foundation complements other social initiatives by the company, including Mobility for Good

Police say suspicious death of B.C. artist ruled a homicide

Patrick Zube Aylward’s body was found in a residence on a rural road outside of Seton Portage, west of Lillooet, B.C.

Temporary roads being built in areas affected by landslide in northern B.C.

Emergency Management BC news release says Disaster Financial Assistance is available to eligible residents of the Peace River Regional District who may have been affected by the landslides

B.C. tickets win big in Lotto Max draw

Jackpot carried over; B.C. tickets share Max Millions prizes

Most Read