The gavel went down yesterday evening on lot No. 292, one of many rare and pricey items in a massive online Cuban cigar auction held by London retailer and auction house C.Gars Ltd. On the block was a single cigar: a Cuban Dunhill Estupendos. It’s perhaps the most coveted Churchill in the world, and pre-auction estimates had this cigar selling for a maximum price of £700. But when the bidding was over, the Estupendos sold for a stunning £1,100—that’s about $1,525 for one cigar.
While that’s certainly a lot of money for a single cigar, it wasn’t nearly the most expensive lot of the auction. More Cuban Dunhills, Davidoffs and other darlings of the niche vintage cigar market all met or exceeded pre-auction estimates in a 572-lot event that C.Gars says had the largest number of registered bidders since the company began conducting auctions in 2009.
Among the pricier lots was a 20-count box of Cuban Davidoff 80 Aniversarios from 1986. It’s a rarity even by auction standards, but rarer still on account of a cigar tube signed by Zino Davidoff. The lot went slightly over its £25,000 estimate, closing at £25,200 (about $34,945). And while a box of 25 Churchill-sized Cuban Davidoff Dom Perignons sold for £10,100 (about $14,000), a 10-count box of Davidoff No. 1 cigars was a relative bargain at only £1,810 (about $2,500).
Other notable lots included:
- A box of five Dunhill Havana Clubs that went for £3,880 ($5,382), well over its predicted £600 estimate.
- An H. Upmann 160th anniversary humidor with 100 cigars from 2004 that sold for £20,000 ($27,740)—£10,000 more than estimated.
- A pre-embargo cabinet of 50 H. Upmann Dunhill Selección Suprema No. 205 petit coronas went for £21,600 (nearly $30,000), greatly surpassing its £6,000 estimate.
- A Ramon Allones Replica Antique Humidor of 50 Imperiales soared past its £4,000 projected estimate, closing at £12,400 (about $17,200).
- A 2015 Ramon Allones Hunters & Frankau Aniversario 225 humidor loaded with 100 belicosos. The lot closed at £11,200 ($15,543), more than £4,000 over pre-auction prediction.
Although there were no full boxes of the Cubatobacco 1492 humidor—a true holy grail in the world of vintage cigars—a mostly empty humidor came up to the auction block. It contained only two of these extraordinarily rare corona gordas and sold for £1,340 ($1,860).
Cohibas of all vintages showed a strong performance in this auction as well. A box of 15 Cohiba Siglo VI Gran Reservas from 2009 exceeded its £5,000 estimate with a winning bid of £12,300 ($17,067). Missing three cigars, a partial box of 22 Cohiba Lanceros from 1996 was only expected to reach £800, but instead went for more than four times that amount, selling for £3,420 ($4,747). With less than 10 years of age, a more recent 10-count box of Cohiba Behike BHK 56 cigars from 2013 sold for £3,400 ($4,720), well over the anticipated sum of £1,300.
The very last lot of the night was a Cohiba humidor that commemorates the brand’s 50th anniversary. Estimated to top out at £10,500, the sleek box of 20 Cohiba Majestuosos concluded the entire auction at £15,500, which amounts to about $21,480.
All prices listed above are for winning bids and do not include the buyers’ premium or associated shipping costs. C.Gars Ltd. is holding its next auction in October.