Fidel Castro Toby jug sets $13,000 record in UK auction

An extremely rare Fidel Castro Toby jug has set a new auction record, after selling 60% above its high estimate on August 29 in Plymouth, UK.

Fidel Castro Toby jug Royal Doulton
Fidel Castro's is now the most valuable living autograph

The jug, one of just three ever produced, sold to an Australian bidder as part of the single-owner collection. The consignor had spent the best part of 20 years collecting the Royal Doulton rarities, but was forced to sell over fears that his children may break the delicate china jugs.

His collection of 30 jugs realised £21,400 ($33,416) in total.

The Fidel Castro jug sold as the top lot in the sale, bringing £8,280 ($13,174) against a £5,000 high estimate. This is the highest price ever achieved for a Royal Doulton character jug at auction.

The Toby jug was first developed by the renowned Staffordshire potters in the 1760s and is thought to be a progression from the Netherlands' Delft jug. Originally featuring a jolly character in a tricorn hat, the Toby name is thought to stem from a notorious 18th century drinker named Henry Elwes, who was nicknamed "Toby Fillpot".

Another theory suggests that the jugs were named after Sir Toby Belch, a drunken character in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night.

The auction house told the Daily Mail newspaper: "I think the combination of their rarity and the subject matter helped generate the amount of interest we had".

Read our Fidel Castro investment report to find out why the Cuban president's memorabilia is increasing in value. According to the newly published PFC40 Autograph Index, Castro's is also the most valuable living signature.

Paul Fraser Collectibles has an astonishing selection of Fidel Castro memorabilia on offer, highlighted by an exceedingly rare signed pre-revolution Cuban flag, which also features the autograph of the iconic Che Guevara.

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