DORCHESTER, England, Feb. 23 (UPI) -- A vial containing the blood of former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is due to go under the hammer at a British auction house, officials said.
Timothy Medhurst, an auctioneer with Duke's of Dorchester, said the drops of blood were collected when the World War II-era prime minister was being treated at The Middlesex Hospital for a fractured hip at the age of 87 in 1962.
The vial was kept by nurse Patricia Fitzgibbon, who said she received permission to keep the vial as a souvenir when it was about to be thrown away.
"I remember that he would never settle at night until after he had read the first edition of all the daily newspapers which he had specially delivered," Fitzgibbon recalled in 2010. "He habitually smoked cigars in bed ... [and] regularly mixed the first and second courses of his meal into one bowl before eating it!"
The blood is expected to sell for $460-$930 when it goes up for auction, but Medhurst said the auction house considers it "impossible to put an accurate estimate on this unique piece of history."
"This year marks the 50 year anniversary of Churchill's death. The blood is a poignant reminder of an injury which marked the beginning of the end for Churchill and as such, we expect there to be great interest in it. It could sell for thousands," he said.