A cigar half smoked by Winston Churchill is one of the more unusual lots we’ve seen this year.
The Shropshire Star reports the lot will sell at Halls on April 26-27 with an estimate of up to £2,500 ($3,098).
Churchill was rarely seen without his trademark cigar.
Churchill smoked around 10 cigars a day
He was photographed smoking the La Corona offered in the auction shortly before getting on to a plane at Le Bouget airport in Paris on May 11, 1947 (the photo is included in the lot).
Andrew Beeston, senior auctioneer at Halls, told the Shropshire Star: “He stubbed out the cigar in an ashtray after boarding the plane and it was taken into protective custody by Corporal William Alan Turner, Air Quartermaster with 24 Squadron Transport Command, who was a member of the cabin crew that flew Churchill and his wife from RAF Northolt to Paris and home again.
“The cigar remained in late Corporal Turner’s possession and must have been a topic of conversation for many years.
“Had it not been half smoked by the great man, the value would have been much less and the photograph supports the provenance.”
The gap between smoked and unsmoked Churchill cigars is significant. One example that he smoked in his hospital bed in 1962 made £2,000 ($2,478) at Duke’s in 2015.
Meanwhile, an unsmoked specimen he gave to a friend at Chartwell (Churchill's family home) in 1949 made $1,500 at Christie’s in 2010.
During the war, Churchill was kept in cigars by the efforts of Samuel Kaplan – a Jewish American businessman who made it his mission to keep his humidor stocked.
He arranged for thousands of Winston Churchill-branded La Corona cigars to be sent across the Atlantic at great personal cost throughout the duration of the war.
We have this remarkable piece of Churchill memorabilia for sale.
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