A cigar lighter Che Guevara bought at Shannon Airport, Ireland in 1965.
In March 1965 Che Guevara - who had distant Irish ancestry - stayed overnight in Shannon, Ireland when his Prague to Havana flight diverted there with engine trouble.
While at the airport Guevara purchased the lighter at the duty-free store and called it his lucky lighter.
He used the lighter until his return from his disastrous trip to Africa. At this point Guevara gave the lighter to Castro’s mistress Natty Revuelta Clews as a present, telling her it was not so lucky.
An unusual and exciting piece of Guevara memorabilia.
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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