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Winston Churchill cigar box expected to fetch £10,000 at auction

Light them on the beaches? Winston Churchill cigar box is expected to fetch £10,000 at auction after being discovered during a valuation

  • Cigar case with Churchill’s name stamped on the lid listed for £10,000 at auction
  • Case contains a mother of penknife and cigars gifted from Cuba and Denmark
  • Auctioneer spotted the art deco rosewood box on a shelf while at a Devon home

He was a prolific cigar smoker whose discarded butts have fetched thousands of pounds at auction.

And now a cigar case once owned by Sir Winston Churchill is for sale at £10,000.

Auctioneer Julian Smith discovered the art deco rosewood box on a shelf in a Devon home during a valuation.

Inside, Churchill’s name is stamped on the lid and inscribed on a mother of pearl penknife used for trimming cigars. 

A cigar box stamped with Sir Winston Churchill’s name, with a penknife also inscribed with his title is set to fetch £10,000 at auction

The box contains cigars, including one dedicated to 'The Right Honourable Winston Churchill,' which bears an image of the wartime prime minister

The box contains cigars, including one dedicated to ‘The Right Honourable Winston Churchill,’ which bears an image of the wartime prime minister

There are also cigars. 

One, by Santa Maria, Havana, is dedicated to ‘The Right Honourable Winston Churchill’. Its label bears an image of Churchill. 

Another, made by Danish tobacco company A M Hirschserung Sonner, was seemingly a gift to him in 1950 by the University of Copenhagen.

The 5in by 15in box is believed to have been a gift from Sir Winston to his valet Norman McGowan.

The vendor bought it from a London dealer 15 years ago. It is being sold by Duke’s Auctioneers, Dorchester, Dorset.

Mr Smith said: ‘I went along to the country house to value a wrist watch and pocket watch but when I was in the front room (lounge) I spotted the cigar case on the shelf.

‘When they told me it belonged to Churchill I thought ‘crikey, that’s fantastic’.

Another, made by Danish tobacco company A M Hirschserung Sonner, was seemingly a gift to him in 1950 by the University of Copenhagen

Another, made by Danish tobacco company A M Hirschserung Sonner, was seemingly a gift to him in 1950 by the University of Copenhagen

Churchill's discarded cigar ends have fetched thousands of pounds at auction, but now a box containing cigars gifted to the former PM has gone up for sale

Churchill’s discarded cigar ends have fetched thousands of pounds at auction, but now a box containing cigars gifted to the former PM has gone up for sale

‘The vendor bought it for her father as a gift 15 years ago but he has since died and left it for her husband.

‘They are selling it now as they are downsizing.’

Guy Schwinge, partner at Duke’s, said: ‘This really is an incredible find. Churchill is probably the most famous cigar smoker of the 20th century.

‘He rarely was depicted without a cigar in hand, and the fact that he gave this box to his personal valet gives it even greater resonance.

A penknife, which can be used for cutting the ends of cigars comes with the box and is inscried with Churchill's names and middle initials

A penknife, which can be used for cutting the ends of cigars comes with the box and is inscried with Churchill’s names and middle initials 

The 5in by 15in box is believed to have been a gift from Sir Winston to his valet Norman McGowan. It is being sold by Duke’s Auctioneers in Dorset

‘It is incredible difficult to value a unique object like this but it would not surprise me if our estimate of between £5,000 to £10,000 ended up looking rather parsimonious.

‘After all, Churchill’s discarded cigar butts have been known to fetch thousands!’

The sale takes place on Thursday.

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