The last remaining cigar in a box of 10 given as a Christmas gift to a policeman by Sir Winston Churchill in 1962 is coming up for auction.
The Victor Hugo cigar, still in its original box, was given to a member of the Kent police force drafted into the politician's protection team. The officer was posted to Chartwell, Churchill's former country home near Westerham, Kent, in 1962.
Churchill bought Chartwell in 1922 and lived there until shortly before his death in January 1965. The owner of the cigars smoked nine of them over time but kept the last one in the box Churchill gave to him.
The 59-year-old cigar is now due to go under the hammer at Hansons Auctioneers in October with a guide price of £150-£250. Churchill served as Britain's Prime Minister from 1940 to 1945 during the Second World War, and again from 1951 to 1955.
A man renowned for his love of cigars, he often left behind stubs which were picked up and treasured. In 2019 Hansons sold a Churchill cigar rescued by a cinema usherette.
Churchill dropped it at the London Coliseum in 1953. The cigar, encased in special plastic to preserve it, sold for £4,800.
Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: "Churchill was renowned for his love of cigars and it appears he was generous when it came to giving them as gifts, too.
Bidders like to buy Churchill memorabilia due to his charismatic character and important place in Britain's political history." The Churchill Christmas cigar is due to be sold in the October 7 Fine Art Auction at Hansons, Heage Lane, Etwall, Derbyshire.