Winston Churchill's cigar that was picked up by policeman goes on sale

Ash in the attic! Winston Churchill’s half-smoked cigar that was picked up by his police bodyguard is set to fetch £1,200 at auction – as Queen Victoria’s slippers are given £3,000 estimate

  • Cigar was picked up by policeman Arthur Church after Sir Winston discarded it 
  • It is accompanied by a note giving the date when it was dropped by the then PM
  • Cigar is being sold at same time as slippers once owned by Queen Victoria 

A cigar butt discarded by Sir Winston Churchill and picked up by a policeman who was guarding him is expected to fetch up to £1,200 at auction.

The item cast aside by the wartime leader in the 1940s will go on sale along with a pair of satin slippers that once belonged to Queen Victoria.

Made in the mid-19th century, the royal shoes are detailed with gold thread bands and will go under the hammer almost 202 years to the day after she was born.

The slippers are expected to fetch up to £3,000 later this month when members of the public will be able to bid.

A cigar butt discarded by Sir Winston Churchill and picked up by a policeman who was guarding him is expected to fetch up to £1,200 at auction

The current owner’s grandfather, Arthur Church, served as a policeman at Scotland Yard in the 1940s

Julian Dineen, specialist in charge of the Bellmans auction, in Billingshurst, West Sussex, said: ‘There is definitely a taste for memorabilia related to important historical figures at the moment.

‘The recent sale of Churchill’s slippers indicated that although we don’t expect Queen Victoria’s slippers to necessarily reach five figures as they are less rare.

‘We suspect that Queen Victoria’s household would have ordered more than one pair of a particular style and due to their delicate nature they probably wouldn’t have been worn too many times.’

The ballet-style shoes had been gifted by Queen Victoria to her Mistress of the Robes, Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland.

Her granddaughter Lady Florence married Henry Chaplin, 1st Viscount Chaplin and the slippers stayed in the Chaplin family until their sale in 2000. 

A more unusual item is the cigar butt that was smoked by Sir Winston. 

The current owner’s grandfather, Arthur Church, served as a policeman at Scotland Yard in the 1940s.

Sir Winston was regularly pictured with a cigar in his mouth when he was seen in public. Pictured: The former PM displays a ‘V’ sign as he poses with a cigar during the Second World War

The cigar is wrapped in a fragile piece of paper which reads, ‘thrown away by Rt Hon Winston Churchill’

While he was on police duty escorting Churchill, the Prime Minister smoked a cigar and Mr Church picked up the discarded butt.

The cigar is wrapped in a fragile piece of paper which reads, ‘thrown away by Rt Hon Winston Churchill’. 

The paper also records the date as being September and in the 1940s but is not fully readable because part of it has fallen away. 

Speaking of the item, Mr Dineen said: ‘It offers the chance for someone to own something that’s a very tangible link to Churchill and to be able to hold and own something that they too would have held or owned themselves.

‘It’s really that tangible link to him that must give any buyer a real thrill.’ 

In March 2021, a brandy balloon glass that had belonged to Churchill sold along with a pair of his velvet slippers.

The cigar will go on sale along with a pair of satin slippers that once belonged to Queen Victoria

Made in the mid-19th century, the royal shoes are detailed with gold thread bands and will go under the hammer almost 202 years to the day after Queen Victoria was born

The ballet-style shoes had been gifted by Queen Victoria (pictured above) to her Mistress of the Robes, Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland 

Now three further glasses from the set – the whereabouts of the final two are unknown – are to be put up for auction and could fetch up to £10,000 each.

They are being sold by a member of the Churchill family.  

A further lot is piece of paper featuring Sir Winston’s autograph.

It bears the full message: ‘With all good wishes from Winston S. Churchill 1948’. 

On a separate sheet is the autograph of Sir Desmond Morton, Sir Winston’s former private secretary. 

 The current owner’s grandfather acquired it from an acquaintance of Sir Desmond and the lot is sold with a handwritten letter regarding the acquiring of the signature. 

In March 2021, a brandy balloon glass that had belonged to Churchill sold along with a pair of his velvet slippers. Now three further glasses from the set – the whereabouts of the final two are unknown – are to be put up for auction and could fetch up to £10,000 each

A further lot is piece of paper featuring Sir Winston’s autograph. It bears the full message: ‘With all good wishes from Winston S. Churchill 1948’

A final lot with a Churchill connection is a painted, wooden model boat named ‘Namouna’ which once stood in the suite used by Sir Winston when he stayed at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo

The signatures are expected to fetch between £400 and £600.

A final lot with a Churchill connection is a painted, wooden model boat named ‘Namouna’ which once stood in the suite used by Sir Winston when he stayed at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo.

The former PM was a frequent visitor to the principality after he left office. 

The boat was among a number of items from the hotel which were previously auctioned off when the establishment was refurbished in 2015.   

Bellmans’ estimate the boat will sell for between £300 and £500.

Bellmans’ next auctions are from May 25-28, and for more information visit www.bellmans.co.uk.

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