The wartime leader gifted some of his iconic smokes to helpful crew aboard the RMS Queen Mary.
Boston-based RR Auction oversaw the sale of a lot including two of the former Prime Minster’s cigars and a signed photograph this week.
During World War II, Churchill would sale on the Queen Mary across the Atlantic for meetings with fellow Allied forces officials.
Churchill would later remark that the Queen Mary had “shortened the war by a year.”
The vintage glossy photograph captures Churchill strolling the deck of the vessel, one hand wrapped around a cigar, while the other grips a dignified cane.
Signed boldly in ink below the photograph is the autograph: “Winston S. Churchill.”
The photograph’s lower left bears the stamp “Photographed on board RMS’ Queen Mary.”
Alongside the photograph, the auction boasted a pair of cigars gifted to an immigration officer who served aboard the Queen Mary.
The shorter cigar, a fine Cuban example, nestles in its original Romeo y Julieta case, while the longer cigar shows signs of age and unwrapping.
RR Auction suggested the latter “still carries an aura of authenticity that only time can bestow. Its imperfections, like the wrinkles of history, tell a story that bridges the gap between then and now.”
A letter of provenance from the son of the original recipient of these treasures sheds light on their remarkable history.
The letter reads: “These cigars were given to my father when he was the First Class Passenger Immigration Officer aboard the Queen Liners. Sir Winston Churchill was impressed by this service, hence the cigars and the autograph.”
Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction, says: “Churchill’s legacy continues to captivate, and these artifacts provide an intimate connection to the man behind the statesmanship.
“When we think of Churchill, we think of this bulldog Prime Minister puffing on a cigar during his quest to defeat Hitler.”
RR Auction added: “These items capture a rare glimpse into Churchill’s illustrious journey on the RMS Queen Mary and his lasting impact on those who had the privilege to serve alongside him.”
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