Cigar collectors and history buffs now have the chance to own a special box of Cuban cigars that came straight from the hands of Fidel Castro himself.
Boston-based RR Auction is currently accepting bids on a 24-count box of Trinidad Fundadores that was signed and presented as a gift by the late Cuban dictator in 2002. The online auction began on December 15 and will conclude next Wednesday, January 10. Currently, the highest bid is at $2,750.
The cigars were presented to philanthropist Dr. Eva Haller by Castro when they met in Cuba nearly 16 years ago. Included with the cigars is a photo of the Cuban dignitary signing the hinged wooden box with a blue felt-tip pen. The cigars have a box date of February 2002, but according to Bobby Livingston, the executive VP of RR Auction, these smokes are being sold as a historical artifact and are not intended for consumption.
Cuba’s Trinidad brand was originally commercially unavailable, reserved for diplomats and dignitaries, with the long-and-thin Fundadore being the only size. After Trinidad was released to the public in 1998, the brand expanded by adding a few more vitolas, only to contract afterward by deleting sizes in 2012.
RR Auction is also featuring a Cuban La Aroma de Cuba cigar gifted by Sir Winston Churchill to Welsh Liberal Party politician Roderic Bowen in 1954. In October 2017, RR Auction sold a half-smoked cigar that once belonged to Churchill for $12,262.
[Updated Jan. 11, 2018]: Fidel Castro's Trinidad Fundadores were sold at auction for $26,950. The box of cigars was initially valued at $20,000.