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Churchill's Smoked Cigar Auctioned

David Savona
Posted: July 13, 2006
There's nothing new about people buying pre-Castro cigars at auction. But post-smoked cigars? That's a rarity.

A private collector from Liverpool recently paid £365 ($673) for a cigar butt that had been smoked by Sir Winston Churchill, perhaps history's greatest cigar smoker. The famed British statesman consumed untold boxes of cigars in his lifetime -- many, if not most, paired with vast quantities of fine liquor -- and typically smoked where he pleased. But according to the auction house quoted by several news sources, this cigar was one of the few he was prohibited from consuming fully. Upon arriving for a 1950 speech at Blackpool's Winter Gardens, he was told that his cigar was not allowed in the ballroom, so he handed the half-smoked cigar to an aide, R.C. Giles, who saved it as a souvenir.

Churchill was dubbed "Man of the Century" by Cigar Aficionado in 2002 after readers voted him their favorite cover subject in the magazine's history. He adorned the cover twice, most recently on the 10th anniversary issue. His name, of course, is now also known as a large cigar size, 7 inches long by 47 ring gauge.

To read all about Churchill's legendary taste for cigars and the good life, read this extensive profile from Cigar Aficionado.

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