Churchill poem could fetch £15k at auction

Churchill

The only known poem written by William Churchill as an adult is up for auction today. The poem, written while he was serving in the Army in 1899 and 1900, has received mixed reviews, but would be a great addition to a collection.

So what will it sell for, and just how popular is Churchill memorabilia?
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The poem

The 40 line poem is written in blue crayon on notepaper from the 4th Hussars in India. Bonhams, the auction house, says this is the only poem he is known to have written as an adult (although he did win a poetry-writing prize at Harrow and one of his poems is still owned by the school).

It has been given an estimate of between £10,000 and £15,000 - although the final price will depend entirely on the sentiments of bidders today.

It begins: The shadow falls along the shore
The search lights twinkle on the sea...

According to the BBC, Andrew Motion said the "reliable, heavy-footed rhythm" and "stirring, old-fashioned sentiments" were expected. But he said "the shadow of Auden passes over the page and makes everything briefly more surprising".

Enthusiasts

It's unlikely to shake the poetry world, but the world of Churchill enthusiasts will be more keen - and there are plenty of them.

They tend to snap up his paintings. In 2007, a landscape of his home in Chartwell sold at auction for £1 million. At that point, prices for his paintings had doubled over the previous ten years.

Fans are also known to pay a small fortune for the most obscure objects from his life:

A Land Rover given to him for his 80th birthday fetched an astonishing £129,000 when it was sold in November. The vehicle had been made especially for him - with extra-wide seats. The estimate had been £50,000-£60,000, but two keen bidders drove the price up dramatically.

Meanwhile a half-smoked cigar from the great man sold for £4,500 back in 2010, and a butter dish he used as an ashtray sold for £4,200 the previous November.

Even a set of dentures he wore during the war fetched £15,200 at auction.

It starts to make a self-penned poem for the same price look like a real bargain.

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The dead celebrity rich list
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Churchill poem could fetch £15k at auction

King of pop Jackson was rumoured to have financial problems when he died in June 2009.

However, his music shot back into the charts as soon as he was no longer around to make any more and it is estimated that Jackson has sold well over 10 million albums since his death at the age of 50.

As a result - according to the latest figures from Forbes Magazine - Jackson's estate made an incredible $170 million (£108 million) in the 12 months to October 2011.

Presley's estate, which is thought to be worth about £1 billion, has generated many millions from music royalties, licensing deals and tourism at Graceland since his death in 1977, aged 42.

And it continues to earn about $55 million a year, partly thanks to posthumous appearances in adverts for products including Apple's iMac to Lipton's Tea.

Monroe is one of the most iconic stars of all time. And despite dying in 1962, her curvaceous image is used to sell everything from Visa to Volkswagen.

When she died, aged 36, her estate was valued at £1 million. However, the Forbes figures indicate that it earned a massive $27 million in the 12 months to October 2011.

The Beatle's estate has earned vast sums since he was shot dead in New York in 1980.

It was valued at about £100 million at the time of his death, but is since estimated to have grown by a further £200 million. And according to the latest Forbes list, it still makes $12 million a year.

The Nirvana singer, who committed suicide in 1994 at the age of 27, continues to be an iconic figure for many fans.

And his songs are still bringing in huge amounts of cash. In 2006, Cobain's widow Courtney Love sold 24.5% of the grunge band's publishing catalogue for a rumoured £35 million.

Not all the celebrities on the list are singers or film stars. Crime writer Christie has also amassed a huge fortune since her death in 1976, aged 85.

Her books continue to fill shelves around the world, while the immense popularity of her sleuths Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple have made her the bestselling author of all time, according to The Guinness Book Of Records.

However, his music shot back into the charts as soon as he was no longer around to make any more and it is estimated that Jackson has sold well over 10 million albums since his death at the age of 50.
As a result - according to the latest figures from Forbes Magazine - Jackson's estate made an incredible $170 million (£108 million) in the 12 months to October 2011.

Einstein died in 1955 at the age of 76, but the dead scientist is still raking in $10 million a year, according to Forbes Magazine.

His image has been used to advertise everything from McDonald's Happy Meals to the Toyota Prius.

The reggae singer died of cancer aged 36 in 1981. But the Marley family has continued to receive massive royalties from his musical catalogue.

It includes the best-selling album "Legend", which alone is believed to have earned them more than £10 million since his death.

The American rapper was just 25 when he was killed in Las Vegas in 1996.

However, his untimely death has not stopped him becoming the most successful hip-hop artist ever, selling more than 75 million albums worldwide. His estate is thought to earn about £4 million a year from his back catalogue.

The Hollywood star, who started her career at the tender age of 10, died in March 2011 at the age of 79.

By October of that year, according to Forbes Magazine, the value of her estate had swelled by about $12 million.

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