Half-smoked Winston Churchill cigar to hit auction block

Winston Churchill
FILE – This Aug. 23, 1939 file photo shows Winston Churchill. A cigar once half-smoked by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a 1947 trip to Paris has sold for just over $12,000 during an online auction. Boston-based RR Auction says the 4-inch (10-centimeter) cigar was bought Wednesday evening, Oct. 11, 2017, by a collector from Palm Beach, Florida. The buyer’s name wasn’t released. (AP Photo) AP

Half-smoked Winston Churchill cigar to hit auction block

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A cigar half-smoked by legendary British Prime Minister Winston Churchill is set to be sold at auction close to 80 years after it was first lit.

The cigar was gifted to Hugh Stonehewer-Bird, a consul general in Rabat, Morocco, by Churchill in August 1944 after a dinner party, according to a report.

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Stonehewer-Bird preserved it in a glass jar and kept it until his death in 1973.

Now Stonehewer-Bird’s family has chosen to sell off the cigar, with it being set to hit the Hansons Auctioneers auction block on June 16

An initial guide price of up to £900 or around $1,120 has been set, according to the report.

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“It’s amazing what turns up in glass jars,” Hansons Auctioneers owner Charles Hanson said. “This is an iconic piece of memorabilia connected to one of Britain’s most famous prime ministers and the Second World War.

“Churchill was renowned for his love of cigars and occasionally gave them as gifts to people who had helped him in any way. People went to great lengths to preserve them for posterity and, in this case, a glass jar has done an excellent job for 79 years.”

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