Sir Winston Churchill pocket watch sells at auction for £76,000

A pocket watch once gifted to Sir Winston Churchill by Herbert Henry Asquith in 1905 has gone under the hammer at auction for £76,000.

The 18-carat gold watch, engraved with Sir Winston's coat of arms, exceeded initial estimates of £20,000-£30,000.

Dawsons auctioneer Edward Langmead called it a "thrilling outcome".

The watch went to a private collector in the UK after a "ferocious bidding war" at the auction house, in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

The auction house said there was "hot competition online, from the US in particular", during the bidding.

The pocket watch is inscribed on the inner case: "To Winston with gratitude H. H. Asquith Xmas 1905."

The gift was believed to acknowledge Sir Winston's "bold move" in 1904 when he famously crossed the floor to the Liberal party, due to a disagreement with the Conservative leadership over its stance on tariff reform, said the auction house.

Mr Churchill was Prime Minister twice - from 1940 to 1945 and then again between 1951 to 1955.

Asquith was a prominent member of the Liberal party at the start of the 20th Century. He went on to become prime minister from 1908 to 1916, taking Britain into World War One.

Mr Langmead said: "It was an honour to be able to handle, research and auction this incredible pocket watch...

"It was a thrilling outcome for Dawsons and our client, after what has been an exciting journey with an exceptional item from history."

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