GRAND STAR grade two sold at CHRISTIE'S of SOUTH KENSINGTON, LONDON.
AN ORNATE PRIMROSE LEAGUE MEDAL awarded to Churchill for 'Special Service' during the 1900 General
Election. The white metal star applied to the centre with polychrome-enamelled Primrose League badge, the gold and purple medal
ribbon suspended from a dark blue enamelled bar badge bearing legend 'GENERAL ELECTION' over 'SPECIAL SERVICE 1900', the reverse of the star
stamped 'T&JB, Rd.83881', in original T & J Bragg black covered case, the lid impressed 'W.S.C.' to centre; WITH two bar-type badges:
one polychrome enamelled over a dark blue enamelled bar bearing legend 'SPECIAL SERVICE 1887'; and a plain red enamelled bar badge bearing
legend 'PL DELEGATE 1897'.
Sold by Auctioneers Christie's in London on 5th June 2007.
Sale number 5138, Lot number 330, Estimated at £ 2000.00 - 3000.00
Price Realized: £ 5400.00. Sales totals are hammer price plus buyer's premium.
Other Churchill related item were also sold in this auction.
The notes above and below (some facts are wrong) were included in the sales catalogue.
UNIQUE MEMENTOES OF THREE EARLY MILESTONES IN CHURCHILL'S POLITICAL CAREER.
The 1887 'Special Service' badge is likely to have been procured for the young Churchill by his mother in response to a letter he wrote to her on 24 May 1887: 'About a dozen boys have joined the Primrose League since yesterday. I am among the number ... Would you send me a nice badge ... for I want to belong to [the London branch] most tremendously'. The 1897 'PL Delegate' badge was presumably worn by Churchill at the Claverton Manor rally at which he gave his first recorded speech. The 'Special Service' given by Churchill at the 1900 election was, of course, his election to parliament as the member for Oldham.
GIFTS TO CHURCHILL FROM THE PRIMROSE LEAGUE
The Primrose League, named after Benjamin Disraeli's favourite flower, was founded in 1887 by Sir Henry Drummond Wolff and Churchill's father,
Lord Randolph Churchill, to encourage support for Conservative principles among the common people of Britain. Churchill was a twelve-year-old schoolboy
in Brighton when he joined the League in the spring of 1887, just weeks after his father's disastrous resignation from Lord Salisbury's cabinet. He remained an ardent supporter of the League until his desertion of the Tories for Lloyd George's Liberals on 31st May 1904, noting in his maiden political speech -- delivered at Claverton Manor, Bath, on 26th July 1897 (ibid) -- that the League had 'borne its share' in the 'revolution of public opinion' that had returned the Conservatives to power after a long period of Liberal domination following Disraeli's death in 1881. The following year he went further, claiming in a speech to the Southsea Conservative Association that the League's motto -- 'Imperium et Libertas' -- 'may also be the motto of Progressive Toryism'.
Churchill first entered Parliament in the autumn of 1900 when -- at a second attempt -- he was elected Conservative MP for the Lancashire constituency
of Oldham. The following items all relate to Churchill's seventeen-year membership of the Primrose League, and were returned to the Oldham branch by Churchill when he crossed the House on 31st May 1904 in protest at the Tories' protectionist policies. A typed card included in lot 334 reads: 'Oldham Silverware presented to Mr Churchill later confined to the constituancy (sic) office on his crossing of the House. Donated to the Habitation with Mr Churchill's blessing'. These items are of exceptional interest, representing as they do some of the key events in the early political career of Britain's
greatest parliamentarian and statesman.