Winston Churchill's blood sample comes to auction



2015-06-26 11:27:37

A glass phial containing traces of blood from the celebrated British Prime Minister Winston Churchill goes up for sale next month.

The phial will be offered by Duke's, an auction house based in Dorset, as part of an upcoming sale of militaria and collectables. 

The blood sample dates back to 1962, when Churchill was admitted to the Middlesex Hospital in London with a fractured hip.

When it was later about to be discarded, a student nurse named Patricia Fitzgibbon was given permission to keep the phial as a memento.

Fitzgibbon attended to Churchill during his hospital stay, and recalled his habits in 2010: “I remember that he would never settle at night until after he had read the first edition of all the daily newspapers, which he had specially delivered. He habitually smoked cigars in bed … [and] regularly mixed the first and second courses of his meal into one bowl before eating it.”

The phial comes with an estimated value of £300-£600, but the unusual nature of the lot could see bidding reach far higher.

“It is impossible to put an accurate estimate on this unique piece of history," said Timothy Medhurst of Duke’s auction house.

"It is probably the first time that such a personal piece of Churchill’s history has been offered on the open market.

"This year marks the 50-year anniversary of Churchill’s death. The blood is a poignant reminder of an injury which marked the beginning of the end for Churchill and, as such, we expect there to be great interest in it. It could sell for thousands.”

The Duke's Coins, Militaria and Collectables sale takes place on March 12.

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