The auction house described Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar as a "truly delightful relic of history." Who would bother saving a stinky cigar?
A half-smoked cigar by the late formerBritish Prime Minister Winston Churchill sold at an online auction house has fetched $12,262 (€10,353).
Boston-based RR Auction said the 4-inch (10-centimeter) cigar bearing the "La Corona / Winston Churchill" label was bought by a Florida collector on Wednesday evening.
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The cigar was saved by British airman Corporal William Alan Turner when he and his crew flew the wartime prime minister and his wife to and from the UK to Paris in May 1947.
It came with a signed photo of Churchill with the cigar in hand just before he boarded the plane back to the UK.
The photo is held in a small folder with Turner's annotations written in pencil.
"A photograph I took from the doorway of York MW101 at Le Bourget airport, Paris, on 11th May 1947 just before we flew back to Northolt. He is surrounded by French ex-servicemen with whom he had been chatting. He stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray when he came aboard, and I took the remains into protective custody," the annotation reads.
The auction house said the cigar boasted "superb photographic provenance.. and "is of the utmost desirability."
"The cigar was an integral component of Churchill's public image, making this personally-smoked example a truly delightful relic of history," the auction house said.