Want to buy Winston Churchill’s blood?
Fitzgibbon remembered his hospital stay in a 2010 interview.
“I remember that he would never settle at night until after he had read the first edition of all the daily newspapers which he had specially delivered,” she said, according to the auction house. “He habitually smoked cigars in bed … [and] regularly mixed the first and second courses of his meal into one bowl before eating it.”
He died three years later in January 1965. But Fitzgibbon kept his blood until her own death, when she gifted the vial to an old friend who has now decided to sell it in time for the 50th anniversary of Churchill’s death.
Auction house spokesman Amy Brenan told The Washington Post that the seven-centimeter vial is still intact, and that the label on the bottle clearly reads “Sir Winston S. Churchill.” However, the specimen inside has not fared as well.
“If you think about it, it’s 50 or 60 years old,” she said. “The blood has shriveled into a small orange blob.”
The vial will be put on the auction block on March 12 in Dorchester along with a declaration from Fitzgibbon about how she got it.
“This is probably the first time that such a personal piece of Churchill’s history has been offered on the open market,” according to the auction house. “This year marks the 50 year anniversary of Churchill’s death – the blood is a poignant reminder of an injury which marked the beginning of the end for Churchill and as such, we expect there to be great interest in it. It could sell for thousands.”
Timothy Medhurst, an auctioneer and appraiser at the auction house, told the Guardian that the lot has been estimated to sell at up to $900, but thought it “impossible to put an accurate estimate on this unique piece of history.”