By BRIAN KRAPF
In June 2016, this column featured a chalkware statue of Winston Churchill made by the American artist Verdan Lolayne. For decades the Lolayne piece was documented and described as the only wartime likeness of Churchill made in America. Only last month, however, another wartime piece made in America was discovered and is publicly shown here for the very first time!
The bust pictured here depicts Churchill as the “Man of the Hour.” The piece measures eight inches tall, with the artist’s initials and the year “1941” etched into the back. A paper label on the bottom confirms the piece was manufactured by Horton Specialty Company of East Liverpool, Ohio.
Research confirms that Horton was primarily known for manufacturing bathroom fixtures but had a sideline business of producing ceramic novelties. The East Liverpool area was regionally known as an American porcelain manufacturing center for well over a century. While many of the factories, including Horton, no longer operate, East Liverpool is home to a porcelain museum that documents and conserves the region’s history.
One of the joys of conserving Churchilliana is being able to find new pieces that have not yet been documented. The Horton item, being American made, is quite special since it dispels decades of received wisdom and begs the question “What else there is for us to discover?” If you are a Churchill collector, this is a cause for celebration!