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Churchill cigar sold for £4,500

PUBLISHED: 13:18 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:48 02 July 2010

Winston Churchill's cigar

Winston Churchill's cigar

Victoria Leggett

A half-smoked cigar, hastily discarded by Winston Churchill in 1941, has been sold for £4,500 at an Aylsham auction house.

The four-inch, unfinished “smoke” took everyone at Keys auctioneers by surprise today as it became the subject of a bidding war between two collectors.

A half-smoked cigar, hastily discarded by Winston Churchill in 1941, has been sold for £4,500 at an Aylsham auction house.

The four-inch, unfinished “smoke” took everyone at Keys auctioneers by surprise today as it became the subject of a bidding war between two collectors.

Sarah Prior, of Keys, said there had been huge international interest in the lot leading up to the sale but no-one had expected it to fetch 15 times its original £300 estimate.

She said: “We knew it would probably reach four figures, but we couldn't have dreamed it would go for £4,500.”

The cigar came straight from the lips of the wartime statesman on August 22, 1941, as he dashed away to an urgent cabinet meeting.

It was collected up by Downing Street valet Nellie Goble and sent to a friend, along with a note explaining its impressive background.

Today's winning bidder, who was determined to stop the cigar leaving the country, came from Hertfordshire and plans to keep it at his home as part of a private collection of historical memorabilia.

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