Video: Churchill masterpiece turns up at Harrogate’s antiques fair

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He spent his days leading Britain’s wartime effort but in his quieter moments Winston Churchill loved to paint.

Now one of his works, Still Life With Orchids, has gone on sale at the annual Harrogate Antique Fair which attracts antique dealers from across the country who are offering a range of antique and specialist items and fine art.

Simon Carter hanging a  painting by Sir Winston Churchill c1936 'Still Life with Orchids'

Simon Carter hanging a painting by Sir Winston Churchill c1936 'Still Life with Orchids'

The oil on canvas was painted in around 1936 and is valued at £450,000.

The depiction of orchids in the painting has been described as “technically accomplished” by experts.

Other items at the fair include a Harden Star Hand Grenade - which had rather a different 
use than might first spring to mind.

The blue glass grenade was a fire extinguisher for use in homes and public buildings. Each glass globe or bottle was filled with a chemical fluid or brine solution and was designed to break easily when thrown into a fire to put it out.

It dates back to circa 1870 and is a rare item because, given its use, not many survived.

A pair of silver cock pheasants, table ornaments made in around 1900, are valued at £6,500.

The antique fair, in association with the British Antique Dealers’ Association, opens today at the Harrogate International Centre and will run until Tuesday.

A spokeswoman said yesterday: “The fair will be brimming with antique arms and armour, rare and collectable jewels, fine silver, furniture for every home, glass, porcelain, bronzes and works of art and paintings from all periods from Lowry to 17th Century portraits.

“The thread of heritage, investment and sustainability has always run through this event as items for sale of this stature are hard to source, a fact appreciated by the collectors, interior designers and connoisseurs who come from far and wide to visit the fair.”

The event is the premier annual opportunity in northern England to meet expert dealers and discuss the latest trends.

It opens today (2-9pm), tomorrow, Sunday and Monday (11am-6pm), and Tuesday (11am-5pm).