Habanos auction history has been made. The final lot auctioned at the Habanos Festival gala on Friday night broke all records with a 2.4 million euro ($2.7 million) bid for a 5-foot tall cabinet humidor filled with 550 Cuban Cohiba cigars. The bid stunned the crowd and surpassed all previous records for the auction by an enormous margin.
The bid—made by Li Thet from China—brought cheers from the crowd of more than 1,200 cigar smokers and pushed the total raised for the night to 4.3 million euros ($4.7 million). By comparison, last year’s auction raised just over $1.7 million.
“I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Max Gutmann, the importer of Cuban cigars to Mexico who has also been to every Habanos Festival auction.
“It’s a record,” said a smiling Fernando Domínguez, premium cigar director of Imperial Brands, the British company that owns half of Cuba’s Habanos S.A.
The humidor, one of six lots auctioned on Friday night, was made in Cuba by the Unión Humidores group and is packed with Cohibas of all shapes and sizes. The drawers on both sides of the humidor are filled with 550 cigars, including several rarities such as: 40 Cohiba Behikes (in 52 and 54 ring gauge), 20 Esplendidos, 30 Majestuosos (celebratory smokes for Cohiba’s 50th anniversary), 50 Talismán, 50 Sublimes Extra, 20 Pirámides, 20 Gran Coronas, 20 Robusto Especiales, 20 Robusto Supremos, 20 Cohiba 1966 and 50 Novedosos.
The auction was one of the final moments at the 22nd annual Habanos Festival.
Look for more coverage of the final night next week.