Sir William Reid Dick (British, 1879-1961) Winston Churchill, 1944
signed and dated 'W. Reid Dick 1944' (on the nape of the neck)
bronze with dark patina
27cm high, (10.5" high), including base.
Provenance: Mrs Sinnott and thence by descent to her niece; Countess Bernadine Murphy Donohue (d.1968) and thence by descent to her husband Sir Daniel Donohue
A similar model was sold through Bonhams on the 17 November 2009, lot 218. The plaster maquette for this sculpture was sold at Bonhams, London, 16 March 2004, lot 5. The Royal Academy commissioned a bronze of Churchill from Reid Dick in 1942 and it was reputedly only after the intervention of George VI that Churchill could be persuaded to take the time to sit for Reid Dick.
Accompanying the above lot is a letter dated 31st January 1937 from Catherine Reid Dick, the artist's wife, to Mrs. Sinnott, aunt of Bernardine Murphy Donohue, which discusses her sadness at the "abdication of our beloved Edward" and how she couldn't believe he ever intended to marry Wallis Simpson. The letter continues on to discuss her husband's design for the National monument for George V as well as her wishes that the young Bernardine should be presented at Court.
Sir Daniel Donohue has been recognized for his contributions to the community of Southern California and as head of the Dan Murphy Foundation, Sir Daniel has received numerous accolades from the Catholic Church. Honors bestowed include having been named Knight of the Sovereign Military Order of Malta, Knight Grand Cross of the Equestrian Order of the Holy Sepulchre and Knight of the Order of Saint Gregory the Great. At the request of His Eminence, Timothy Cardinal Manning, Pope Paul VI named Sir Daniel a Gentleman-in-Waiting-to-His Holiness-the-Pope, one of the highest honors the Papacy may confer on a layman.
Following the marriage of Sir Daniel and Countess Bernardine in 1954, the couple purchased a large home on Waverly Drive in the Los Feliz section of Los Angeles. Renowned architect Bernard Maybeck designed the landmark California residence in 1923 for business pioneer, Earle C. Anthony. Maybeck is best known for designing the Palace of Fine Arts in San Francisco and serving as teacher to the designer of Hearst Castle, Julia Morgan. For the Los Feliz residence, Maybeck created a pastiche of Italian and French architectural styles to create a medieval fantasy on the ten-acre tract. It was during the 1960s that the couple began to augment the Collection started by Countess Bernardine's parents, Dan Murphy and Antoinette Sinnott Murphy, half a century earlier. They adorned their new residence with antiquities, Old Master paintings, early European works of art, tapestries, furniture dating back to the Italian Renaissance, silver, objets de vertu, and the occasional 20th century decoration.