Agatha Christie's cigarette case to auction for $15,640?

A silver cigarette case presented by Agatha Christie to one of the men who found the novelist following her famous disappearance is coming to auction.

A £10,000 high estimate has been placed on the piece, a testament to the remarkable story behind the real life mystery and the great attraction of the Christie name.

Agatha Christie cigarette case
Christie was found in a Harrogate hotel, 11 days after signing in under her love rival's name

Bob Leeming, a saxophone player at the Swan Hydropathic Hotel in Harrogate, Yorkshire, UK spotted the crime writer at the recuperative retreat 11 days after she went missing from her home in Berkshire on December 3, 1926.

It is thought that Christie, then 36, had become emotionally unstable following the recent death of her mother and her husband's announcement that he had fallen in love with his golfing partner, Nancy Neele - Christie checked into the hotel under the name "Miss Neele".

Her biographer Andrew Norman, writing in his 2006 work, claims that Christie fell into a trance-like state for those few days.

Clairvoyants, search parties and an aircraft were employed to find the Mysterious Affair at Styles novelist, who claimed after the event to have no recollection of how she travelled the 200 miles from her home to Yorkshire.

Her husband, who had been suspected of "foul play", fetched her from the hotel after Leeming and a fellow band member had contacted the police.

The cigarette case was inscribed to Leeming by both Christie and her husband. The Christies would eventually divorce two years later.

In 2010, a locked trunk belonging to Christie was bought for £100 by a fan of her work. A hoard of jewellery thought to have belonged to the author's mother was found inside, worth an estimated £100,000.

Take a look at Paul Fraser Collectibles' superb range of investment-grade books here.

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