A napkin holder gifted by the USSR to Fidel Castro, which Castro used to hold his lit cigars.
6.5 x 4.5 inches.
In 1964 Fidel Castro visited the USSR to discuss new trade deals.
While there, the Soviets gave him a napkin holder to place his cigars on. Castro liked it so much he took it home with him.
Castro signed and dated it handsomely to remind him of his time there.
Acquired by the present owner at the estate sale of Fidel Castro's mistress Natty Revuelta Clews, between December 2015 and July 2016.
The present owner is British businessman Mr Gary Shannon, who knew the Castro family and their associates for 20+ years from circa 2000. Mr Shannon helped provide technology and communications infrastructure to Cuba.
The item formed part of Mr Shannon’s private Jagdamer Museum of Castro and Guevara memorabilia, from 2016 to 2020.
Natty Revuelta Clews (December 26, 1925 – February 27, 2015) was the mistress of Fidel Castro from 1955 until her death. Their daughter, Alina, was born in 1956.
Revuelta - a wealthy socialite - was instrumental in assisting Castro overthrow the Batista regime in Cuba.
Revuelta sold her jewels to support the Cuban rebels, helped plan the 26th of July Movement uprising in 1953 and, crucially, helped Fidel Castro co-ordinate the Cuban Revolution while he was imprisoned between 1953 and 1955, through exchanging secret messages with Castro.
Until this present auction and the revelation of Castro’s cigar box with secret compartments (lot 1), it was unknown how Castro transferred these secret messages to the 26th of July Movement while he was in prison.
The pair began their affair upon Castro’s release from prison in May 1955.
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