The 2014 annual C. Gars Ltd. London cigar auction at Boisdale Belgravia yesterday boasted a catalog bulging with vintage, mature, limited edition and pre-embargo Cuban cigars. The 347 lots attracted heavy interest, with £554,125 ($867,306) raised in total, including fees.
Auctioneer Jonathan Humbert worked steadily through the lots. The auction room was packed with potential buyers from America, China, Hong Kong and Europe, and there were many pre-bids, bringing the number of bidders to around 200. It was clear that the action was going to be brisk.
Vintage cigars continue to appear, and the market is clearly extremely strong for the right cigars. Stand out lots were Lot 317, an extremely rare and highly desirable Cubatabaco 1492 humidor, Number 1514-023, containing 50 numbered Cuban cigars from 1992 described as "in pristine condition and with dark leaf," which sold for an impressive $41,463 (£26,494).
The second highest hammer price was $25,341 (£16,193) for Lot 339, a stunning cabinet of 125 Romeo y Julieta Coronations de Luxe pre-embargo cigars.
Bidding for Cuban Dunhills were particularly strong, with the majority of the lots going for a significant premium over the higher catalog estimates. Particularly notable was Lot 312, a box of 25 Dunhill Don Candido Selección No. 506. Boxed in the early 1980s, the cigars were estimated to sell for between £2,500 and £3,000, but they sold for £5,500 ($8,606).
Cuban Davidoff bids were less strong, but the majority achieved close to the higher pre-sale catalog estimates. A particularly beautiful cabinet of Davidoff Chateau d'Yquem from the early 1980s sold for $15,647 (£10,000), well above the high catalog estimate.
Speaking after the auction, Mitchell Orchant, managing director of C.Gars Ltd., was clearly delighted with the evening.
"As we expected and suggested some years ago, pre-Embargo cigar values have increased and continue to increase sharply. The demand for highest quality pre-embargo unique cabinets and boxes is at record levels. Dunhill Selección cigars remain exceptionally popular whilst Davidoff cigars held values well although there didn't seem to be the increases in values seen over the last few auctions."
After the sale, many from the crowd retired to the Boisdale cigar terrace and, later, for a dinner. Many representatives of some of London's premium cigar terraces were in attendance, and it seems clear that not all these special cigars will be disappearing from the United Kingdom.