Winston Churchill’s letters to his dentist on sale
Two letters written by Sir Winston Churchill to the dentist who made his false teeth, telling him that he had been nominated for a knighthood, are expected to fetch together up to £1400 at auction.
The letters were written in 1952 and 1954, when Sir Winston was in his third term as prime minister, to Sir Wilfred Fish, the most acclaimed dentist of his generation.
Throughout his life, the statesman feared that problems with his teeth would affect his public speaking, one of his most powerful attributes.
So he relied on Sir Wilfred to supply him with dentures to deliver his striking rallying calls.
In January 1954, Churchill showed his appreciation to his newly-knighted dentist, Sir Wilfred, acknowledging his thanks (‘…I am very glad it fell to me to recommend you for a well-deserved Honour…’) and enclosing a set of dentures (‘…I should be so much obliged if you would tighten them up a little for me. The others are working very well…’).
The letters are to go on sale at Bonhams in London on 18 March.
• Sir Wilfred Fish served as Churchill’s dentist from at least 1936, when they corresponded about false teeth (see the Churchill Papers, where neither this nor the following letter is recorded). He served two terms as President of the British Society of Periodontology, 1949-50 and 1973-74.