Cigar Aficionado

Giant Siglo Humidor Fails to Sell at London Auction

The ripping up of a Fuente Fuente OpusX Double Corona was an unlikely end to a cigar auction, but somehow it felt right.

The audience sighed in sympathy with the giant Dominican smoke as it was torn asunder by just about the only man in the room who could could get away with it.

That man was Jeremiah Meerapfel, one of the tobacco dynasty of Meerapfels from Belgium, and he performed the surgery to show the love, detail and artistry that goes into creating Arturo Fuente cigars. Meerapfel and his brother Joshua were on hand to announce that the U.K. distribution right for the entire range of Fuente cigars had been secured by C.Gars Ltd., the organizer of the night's events.

Earlier, the curious and the serious had gathered under the warm London skies and witnessed the auction of some 259 lots of cigars, humidors and memorabilia. Some 95 percent of lots were sold on the night.

The hoped-for star lot, the Siglo XXI Millennium Humidor, made in 1999 and housing an incredible 2,000 Habanos, didn't reach estimate. No one offered a bid at the asking price of £140,000 ($224,899).

If that lot fetched some interest, there were plenty of other surprises throughout the two-hour auction, manfully directed by former Christie's auctioneer Brian Ebbesen.

A partially filled Partagas 150th Anniversary Humidor fetched £11,000 (about $17,600); a cabinet of 25 Dunhill Cabinettas—4 ⅞ inch-long, 50 ring gauge robustos from the 1970s—was knocked down for £7,500 ($12,000); a box of 25 2005 maduro-wrapped Presedencia Sublimes—6 ¼ inches by 40 ring smokes—sold for £6,000 ($9,600); and a rare Montecristo B humidor containing 50 cigars of 5 ⅜ inches by 42 ring from the early 1980s fetched £4,500 ($7,230).

As always, Dunhill and Davidoff marques were at a premium, although there were some bargains to be had. Pre-embargo cigars in particular were strangely subdued in some of the bidding, with a mixed lot of 42 cellophane-wrapped singles—all pre-embargo—selling for just £320 ($513) to one astute bidder.

After the final lot, guests of C.Gars Ltd were then treated to a sumptuous meal upstairs in the restaurant at Boisdale Canary Wharf, followed by a jumping set from Manolo and the Gipsies of The Gipsy Kings fame.

Late into the evening, a post-meal Fuente Fuente OpusX—left intact this time—was enjoyed on the terrace overlooking the barmy sights of the capital's skyline.

"thanks Paul, I thought so too. I have already smoked them all." —July 11, 2011 08:44 AM
"$513 for 42 pre-embargo cigars is a steal. Nice job to whoever did the bidding there." —July 6, 2011 19:57 PM