A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected. (The Canadian Press)

Painting of B.C. lake by Winston Churchill sells for $87,000

Churchill had painted the work in 1929 during visit to an area near Field

A painting of Emerald Lake in the Rocky Mountains by Winston Churchill has sold at auction for much more than expected.

Churchill painted the work during a visit to the area near Field, B.C., in 1929 in the years before he became prime minister of the United Kingdom.

The heavily damaged piece was initially listed on the Sotheby’s of London auction site and was estimated to sell between $11,000 and $15,000. It sold for $87,257.

“My family and I are obviously delighted at the sale price,” owner Bill Murray wrote in an email to The Canadian Press from his home in Devon, England. “Even in its damaged state, it is a wonderful painting and the link with Sir Winston’s visit to your area in 1929, is just about unique.”

The painting was a gift from Churchill to Murray’s father, Sgt. Edmund Murray, who was his bodyguard from 1950 to 1965.

“Having read all the pre-sale reports in the Canadian media, I am not really surprised that this great painting attained such a high figure. Churchill paintings are much sought-after,” Murray said.

“Had it not been damaged, it would have fetched a much higher price and perhaps ended up in a private collection in Russia or China, never to be seen again.”

There’s no official word on who bought the painting or where it will ultimately end up, but Murray said he has his suspicions.

“I am pretty sure that it will go to Canada, although Sotheby’s are very discreet when it comes to letting out information about the buyer, even to the seller.”

The painting was originally mislabelled as Lake Louise, Alta., but Calgary historian David Finch saw a photo of it and let it be known it was Emerald Lake.

“To be clear, I’m the obnoxious Canadian who challenged the location of the painting, came to be involved but I am not an expert at painting or Churchill history – an innocent bystander.”

Finch said Churchill had been painting for years, a hobby he picked up to cope with depression. He said the trip to Canada and the U.S. gave him a chance to escape his troubles at home.

“He’d been run out of England with his tail between his legs. His government had fallen. He’d lost his own seat. He was desperate for an escape from all his trials and tribulations so he and his brother and his two sons came on a tour of North America,” said Finch.

Finch said he’s no art critic but Churchill painted a lot of paintings over the years and this likely isn’t his best work.

“I don’t think much of it but somebody obviously does to pay that kind of money for it.”

The Canadian Press

Just Posted

BC Housing now involved in Parksville supportive housing project lawsuit

Agency listed as a defendant alongside city over 222 Corfield rezoning

Electoral reform ballot returns so far show higher Parksville-Qualicum engagement

Region among top four in percentage of ballots turned in

A cuddle and a coffee: Six Island towns named among Canada’s most cozy

Sidney, Campbell River, Courtenay, Parksville, Tofino and Ucluelet crack Expedia’s top 40

Thieves keep Oceanside RCMP busy

Thefts from vehicles, businesses, mailboxes revealed in latest crime report

VIDEO: Qualicum Beach fire department gathers food, toy donations

Six fire departments took part in the annual food drive this weekend

Price makes 36 saves as Habs edge Canucks 3-2

Late goal lifts Montreal past Vancouver

BC Minister of Agriculture loses stepson to accidental overdose

Lana Popham announces death of her 23-year-old stepson, Dan Sealey

Doctor’s note shouldn’t be required to prove you’re sick: poll

70% of Canadians oppose allowing employers to make you get a sick note

‘Toxic’ chosen as the Word of the Year by Oxford Dictionaries

Other top contenders for 2018 include ‘gaslighting’ and ‘techlash’

RCMP bust illegal B.C. cannabis lab

Marijuana may be legal but altering it using chemicals violates the Cannabis Act

Canadian military’s template for perfect recruits outdated: Vance

Gen. Jonathan Vance, the chief of defence staff says that the military has to change because the very nature of warfare is changing, particularly when it comes to cyber-warfare

Canada defeats Germany 29-10 in repechage, moves step closer to Rugby World Cup

Hong Kong needs a bonus-point win over Canada — scoring four or more tries — while denying the Canadians a bonus point

Avalanche Canada in desperate need of funding

The organization provides avalanche forecasting for an area larger than the United Kingdom

Most Read