Churchill painting from Onassis superyacht sells for $1.85 mln
painting from Onassis superyacht
"The Moat, Breccles," a signed 1921 oil landscape, went for within its pre-sale estimate price of between $1.5 million and $2 million.
Despite failing to shatter records, the landscape which Churchill mentioned in a December 1921 essay titled "Painting as a Pastime" -- appealed to both history and celebrity buffs.
The tycoon was so proud of his gift that he hung it in a place of honor -- behind the bar of his yacht -- alongside works by Vermeer, Gauguin, El Greco and Pissarro.
This super yacht, named "Christina" after Onassis's daughter, was a former Canadian Navy frigate, nearly 100 meters long. It had been a part of the Normandy landings before Onassis bought the ship post-war for $34,000.
Onassis had it lavishly renovated to the tune of $4 million, making it "one of the most incredible structures that floated," Phillips Deputy Chairman Jean-Paul Engelen told AFP.
It was a favored gathering spot for the rich and famous, including Elizabeth Taylor, John F. and Jackie Kennedy, Richard Burton, Grace Kelly, J. Paul Getty, Eva Peron and others.
To spur interest in the canvas, Phillips has recreated the bar on the "Christina" -- known as Ari's Bar -- in its New York showroom, including facsimiles of its famous whale teeth, and filled the shelves with Pol Roger champagne, Churchill's preferred bubbly.