Winston Churchill's 'treasured' cigar is sold at auction

Written by on December 12, 2019

A cigar dropped by Winston Churchill at the London Coliseum in 1953 and then picked up and kept by an usherette has sold for £4,800.

Violet King wrote to the then prime minister to ask if she could “tell her friends she had his cigar” and kept his reply giving his consent.

Her relatives took the partly smoked cigar to a valuation event in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Staffordshire.

Auctioneers Hansons said it was an “incredible find”.

The cigar’s “rock solid provenance” and good condition had boosted the guide price, it said.

“On the day the country goes to the polls, it’s a privilege to sell an item which belonged to a man who was Britain’s prime minister not once but twice,” a spokesman said.

“The fact that someone was prepared to pay such a high price for a cigar he dropped on the floor, shows the esteem he is still held in decades after he led our country.”

Julian Lewis, a great nephew of Ms King, who died in her 90s in the 1980s, said she picked up the cigar and “treasured it for the rest of her life”.

He said he remembers her telling him the story and how proud she was of having the item and she would show it to people.

Ms King also kept and encased a newspaper cutting from 31 January 1953, which said the prime minister and his wife Clementine were at the Coliseum to see the musical film Call Me Madam.

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