A Trinidad humidor bearing the signature of Fidel Castro was the cigar star at this week's Christie's auction in Geneva. The piece, filled with 124 cigars, sold for 132,186 euro ($172,317), well above the pre-sale estimate of $85,000 to $128,000.
The humidor, made of cedar and mahogany and bearing the triple T logo of the Trinidad brand in silver, was stocked with an impressive array of cigars. The most prized were the 33 Trinidad Laguito No. 1s, lanceros measuring 7 1/2 inches by 38 ring gauge, the same dimensions as the original Diplomatic Trinidads. Diplomatic Trinidads were given as gifts by the Castro government after Cohiba became a commercial brand.
The winner was an anonymous bidder.
The humidor sold on Tuesday and was part of a two-day Christie's auction that centered around wines and included lots containing rare spirits (such as old Cognacs) and fine cigars.
Christie's last held an auction with cigars in November, but prior to that it had been seven years since the legendary auction house had held such an auction.
Cigar auctions seem to be building in popularity. In June, British retailer C. Gars Ltd. will hold an auction. Look for details on that sale in the near future.