Winston Churchill's 'Troops' painting doubles estimate

Winston Churchill's painting Troops Going To The Front has smashed its estimate at auction.

The oil on canvas sold for £461,000 ($711,400) at Sotheby's London last night, almost doubling its £250,000 high-end valuation.

Churchill troops painting
It was the last wartime scene Winston Churchill would paint

Churchill painted the work while a cabinet minister in 1927, 12 years after he had fought on the battlefields of Europe during the first world war.

The 50 by 61cm painting depicts troops saying their goodbyes from London's Victoria Station, before heading to the front.

Churchill was inspired by a FJ Mortimer photograph.

Sotheby's Lydia Wingfield-Digby said prior to the auction: "It is a rare piece of art by Winston Churchill.

"He was a prolific artist but would paint to relieve himself from the political pressures.

"He would normally paint views while on holiday to switch off so only a few pieces depict war.

In fact, this would be the last wartime scene Churchill painted."

A second Churchill painting, Flowers In A Green Glass Vase, also sold well. It made £215,000 ($331,950) - towards the top of its estimate.

The sales cap a superb few months for Churchill artworks. In December, his The Goldfish Pool at Chartwell demolished its £600,000 high estimate, selling for £1.7m ($2.6m) at Sotheby's.

These successful sales are a reminder of the enduring power of Winston Churchill at auction. 50 years on from his death, Churchill is far from forgotten. In fact, values for his artefacts are rising.

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