Cigar Aficionado

Rare Cubans Heading to Auction

Cigar collectors from around the globe will be gathering this month to witness a treasure trove of rare Havanas going under the hammer in London.

The auction of vintage, rare and mature cigars features lots, including a custom-built Elie Bleu humidor signed by Fidel Castro and dozens of boxes of pre-embargo Havanas. The auction is being conducted by London cigar merchant Mitchell Orchant of C.Gars Ltd. He expects bidding to be brisk on November 30 when the cognoscenti gather on the Cigar Terrace at Boisdale of Belgravia.

"We've had a lot of interest from overseas," Orchant said. "Collectors in America, mainland Europe, India and China have all been registering to bid. It's not surprising considering the quality of the lots. Some of them are just breathtaking."

These include a beautiful cabinet of 60-year-old Belinda candela-wrapped cigars measuring 6 1/8 inches by 44 ring.

"These cigars have a thick layer of bloom [plume] and even after the passage of time still appear in magnificent condition," said Orchant. The lot is expected to fetch in excess of £3,500 ($5,645).

Collectors will also bid on partially filled cabinet of 44 Alfred Dunhill Selection No. 777 Partagas cigars valued at more than £5,000 ($8,000), a Montecristo Antique Replica Humidor estimated at £3,000 ($4,840) and a box of the ever-popular Davidoff Dom Perignon from 1988, expected to fetch in the region of £5,000 ($8000).

There are plenty of cigars for those collectors with slightly less expensive tastes; for instance, a box of Bolivar Royal Coronas from 1995 has an early estimate of £400 ($640). You can also pick up a box of Cohiba Robustos from 2001 for something in the region of £300 ($480).

In all, more than 300 different lots of cigars will be vying for space on the cigar terrace, with former Christie's auctioneer Brian Ebbesen wielding the gavel, starting at 7 p.m. For those able to attend, canapés and Champagne will precede the auction at 6 p.m. and follow it after, too.

Bidders can attend the auction or bid by email up to 24 hours beforehand by preregistering. For more information, or to see all the lots, visit

Cigar Aficionado will report from the auction.