What does the man who has everything really need?
One wealthy buyer might have the answer after splurging $A15,185 on a half-smoked cigar that once graced the lips of Sir Winston Churchill.
Britain’s wartime prime minister smoked the cigar on May 11, 1947, at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, the US auction house RR Auction said in a statement released on Friday.
The little piece of history, measuring 10 centimetres and with a red-and-gold band at the end bearing Churchill’s name, was kept by Corporal William Alan Turner, a member of the cabin crew on the flight that day.
“He stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray when he came aboard, and I took the remains into protective custody,” reads a handwritten note on the back of a picture accompanying the cigar, which was written by Turner, according to the statement.
The picture shows Churchill boarding the plane, cigar in hand. A lifelong nicotine fiend, Churchill had his cigars made to order by a London tobacconist.
The stump was auctioned online on Wednesday by a collector in Florida.
The cigar was described by the auction house as “an integral component of Churchill’s public image” and “a truly delightful relic of history”.