Going, Going, Gone!

Before Auction Fever Sweeps You Away, Make Sure You Know What You're Buying

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As for authenticity, Christie's has each box examined by experts, and the seller is required to provide documentation of provenance. Most cigars are available for viewing before the sale. Christie's has been approached several times over the past few months by people trying to auction counterfeit Cuban cigars, according to David Ellswood, an executive with Christie's wine department, which organizes the cigar sales.
"It's such a small market for us," Ellswood says. "Unless we can sell only the finest cigars with absolutely cast-iron provenance, we're not really interested."

--Brendan Vaughan

Brendan Vaughan is the assistant editor of Marvin Shanken's Cigar Insider newsletter and manager of online services for Cigar Aficionado Online.
Christie's in South Kensington, London (44-171-581-7611), holds monthly cigar auctions. Its King Street location (44-171-389-2720) holds less frequent sales.
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