Title Winston Churchill
Number 54101
Size
Date 1948-1961
Place England
Category Foreign
Price $16,000.00
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Headline
All about his poodle, Rufus! Archive of seven Churchill letters to Miss Lobban who took care of Rufus at London’s Duke Street Kennels, each mentioning Rufus the dog.
Description
Winston S. Churchill had a miniature poodle named Rufus. After Rufus was run over and killed while Churchill was attending the Conservative Party Conference at Brighton, England, in October 1947, the former Prime Minister was given another miniature poodle by Walter Graebner, his “Life” magazine editor for his war memoirs. When Churchill introduced his new poodle he would say, “His name is Rufus II – but the II is silent.”

“The poodle [Rufus] ate in the dining room with the rest of the [Churchill] family. A cloth was laid for him on the Persian carpet beside the head of the household, and no one else ate until the butler had served Rufus's meal. One evening at Chequers [Churchill’s country estate] the film was ‘Oliver Twist.’ Rufus, as usual, had the best seat in the house, on his master's lap. At the point when Bill Sikes was about to drown his dog to put the police off his track, Churchill covered Rufus's eyes with his hand. He said, "Don't look now, dear. I'll tell you about it afterwards." From “The Little Brown Book of Anecdotes”
Each of the seven letters in the Churchill Archive is written to Miss B. Lobban who cared for Rufus II at the Duke Street Kennels. In quarter navy morocco over blue cloth slipcase, spine lettered in compartments, five raised bands: “Winston / S. / Churchill / Letters / to / Miss Lobban / Regarding / ‘Rufus’ / 1948-1961.”

(1) TLS “Yours sly. / Winston S. Churchill,” one page, 7.5” x 9.5”. 28, Hyde Park Gate, London, January 25, 1948. File hole in upper left. Fine condition with original 5.25” x 4.25” envelope postmarked January 27, 1948, torn at edges. In full, “I am so sorry that Rufus has developed this distressing complaint, and I hope you will let me know at the end of the three weeks whether or nit he has recovered. After the said loss of the first one, I feel that I would rather not have another dog just now. Please do not therefore look for another poodle for me. I will write to Mr. Graebner about this. I am very grateful to you for the trouble you have taken in looking after Rufus during my absence abroad. Pray let me know what is owing in the way of veterinerary [sic] fees.”

(2) TLS “Winston S. Churchill” as Prime Minister, one page, 4.75” x 7.5”. 10, Downing Street, Whitehall, December 13, 1953. Fine condition with original 5.25” x 4.25” envelope postmarked December 14, 1953. In full, “Thank you so much for your gift and for remembering my birthday. I was so glad to see Rufus back looking so well and happy.” Three days earlier, his wife Lady Clementine Churchill, accepted the Nobel Prize in Literature in his name because he was at a meeting with President Eisenhower and French Prime Minister Joseph Laniel in Bermuda. On November 30th, Churchill had celebrated his 79th birthday.

(3) TLS “Winston S. Churchill,” one page, 5” x 8”. Chartwell, Kent, December 4, 1956. File hole in upper left. Fine condition with 5.5” x 4.25” envelope postmarked December 5, 1955, torn at top. In full, “Rufus is delighted with his new blue collar and lead, and it suits him very well. It is so kind of you to remember him again and to send him such a lovely present. Thank you very much.”

(4) TLS “Winston S. Churchill,” one page, 5” x 8”. 28, Hyde Park Gate, London, December 5, 1957. File hole in upper left. Fine condition with original 5.5” x 4.25” envelope postmarked December 6, 1957, torn at top. In full, “How very kind of you to think of Rufus again on my birthday, and to send him such an attractive and useful present. Thank you so much.” On November 30th, Churchill had celebrated his 83rd birthday.

(5) TLS “Winston S. Churchill,” one page, 5” x 8”. Chartwell, Kent, December 2, 1958. Fine condition with 5.25” x 4.25” Prime Minister envelope postmarked December 2, 1951, stained at right edge. In full, “It was indeed kind of you to remember my birthday, and to send Rufus a new collar and lead. It suits him well, and he is most proud of it. Thank you so much.” On November 30th, Churchill had celebrated his 84th birthday.

(6) TLS “Winston S. Churchill,” one page, 5” x 8”. 28, Hyde Park Gate, London, December 2, 1960. Fine condition with original 5.25” x 4.25” envelope postmarked December 5, 1960, torn at top. In full, “How very kind of you to remember my birthday again and send Rufus such a lovely coat. It will be most useful to him in the cold weather. Thank you so much.” On November 30th, Churchill had celebrated his 86th birthday.

(7) TLS “W S Churchill,” one page, 5” x 8”. 28, Hyde Park Gate, London, December 2, 1961. Fine condition with original 5.25” x 4.25” envelope postmarked December 4, 1961. In full, “How very kind of you to remember my birthday again, and to send Rufus a smart new collar and lead, which he is wearing with pleasure. Thank you so much.” On November 30th, Churchill had celebrated his 87th birthday.
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