Cuban Auction Raises More than $1.7 Million

Cuban Auction Raises More than $1.7 Million
Photo/Courtesy of Habanos S.A.
Manu Harit from the United Kingdom, center, stands next to his new Trinidad humidor. His winning bid was 300,000 euros.

The live auction of seven custom humidors at the Festival de Habanos gala dinner raised more 1.5 million euros ($1.7 million) last Friday night in Havana, Cuba. The spotlight for the top price was shared by the Trinidad humidor, which came with 50 cigars, and the Cohiba humidor, which contained 550 cigars, including the entire Behike BHK series, the Talísman Edición Limitada and the new Novedoso, which was just announced at this festival and won’t go on sale for some time. Each of those humidors received winning bids of 300,000 euros, approximately $340,000 at current exchange rates. 

The big winner of the evening was Hamad Al-Shamisi from the United Arab Emirates. He not only purchased the Cohiba humidor, but he also bought the Montecristo humidor with a bid of 220,000 euros ($249,000). The large piece was packed with 420 cigars, including the Montecristo 1935 line, the rare Maravillas and the iconic Montecristo No. 2, among others. 

After raising his paddle for his final bid of 300,000 euros, Al-Shamisi walked to the stage. When asked by Cigar Aficionado why he bought the box, his second winning bid of the night, he smiled. “Because I love it,” he said. 

Manu Harit from the United Kingdom purchased the Trinidad humidor for 300,000 euros ($340,000). Unlike the other humidors sold last night, this design will be reproduced in 99 other humidors, each of them containing 50 Trinidad 50 Aniversario cigars, a 59 ring gauge pyramid measuring just over 6 inches in length. It is the first pyramid ever produced for the Trinidad brand. “This is a very special piece, and for me, it is as important as Cohiba,” Harit said. “I also think Trinidad is the best cigar.” 

Two humidors were purchased by a Mexican company that imports Cuban cigars to Mexico. They purchased the San Cristobal de la Casa humidor for 175,000 euros ($198,000), a piece that contained 500 cigars, including the newly announced 1519 size. The other piece they bought was the Romeo y Julieta humidor, which contained 400 cigars, including the Churchill, the Wide Churchill, the Short Churchill and the Fabuloso No. 6. It went for 200,000 euros ($226,000). 

Cai Hua of Shanghai, China was the winning bidder for the H. Upmann humidor, which came with a selection of 340 cigars including the Sir Winstons, the Magnum series, the Double Coronas and a special Tacos Imperiales.

The Hoyo de Monterrey humidor failed to meet the minimum price in the first round of bidding. It was brought back to the auction floor, and this time it was won with a bid of 160,000 euros ($181,000) by George Xu of Shanghai. The piece came with 370 cigars, including the iconic Double Corona.