A large rosewood cigar box, once belonging to the ‘Greatest Briton’, and certainly one of the most famous cigar smokers, Sir Winston Churchill, will be offered as part of Duke’s online Coins, Medals and Militaria, Arms, Armour, Taxidermy and Sporting sale, to be held on the 11th March.
The finely crafted rosewood box, is decorated with geometric inlay and its interior lid is stamped with the emblem of ‘Montecristo Habana’ above, and his name, ’The Hon. Winston Churchill’ below. It later belonged to Churchill’s personal valet, Norman McGowan, who described his life in Churchill’s service in his 1958 book ‘My Years with Churchill’.
Inside the box can be found two cigars in tubes, one by Santa Maria, Havana, dedicated to 'The Right Honourable Winston Churchill', the other, by A.M. Hirschserung Sonner, Copenhagen, ‘Especially packed for the Right Honourable Winston Churchill’. Accompanying the cigars is an amber cigar holder, mounted in 9ct gold and fitted in a leather case, and a mother of pearl pen knife, inscribed ‘Winston L.S. Churchill’.
Also included in the sale are fourteen black and white photographs of Churchill’s funeral, dated 30th January 1965, with typed inscriptions to the back. This wonderfully evocative set of images capture the grandeur and the solemnity of the occasion. Churchill was the last person to be given a state funeral, usually reserved for the Heads of State, and is one of only twelve non-Royals ever to receive one. Other notable people to have been awarded one include Admiral Lord Nelson, Edith Cavell, Sir Isaac Newton and the Duke of Wellington.
The death of the great war-time leader brought 350,000 to London to witness the funeral. First by decree of Queen Elizabeth II, he lay in state at Westminster Hall for three days, then on 30th January the Funeral was held at St Paul’s Cathedral. From there his body was transported along the River Thames to Waterloo Station and taken by train to St Martin's Churchyard at Bladon, where he was buried alongside his ancestors. His funeral in St Paul’s was attended by 6000 people, representatives from 120 countries and, unusually the Queen. 350 million people, a tenth of the world's population, watched the televised service, the largest state funeral in history.
For more information, please contact Head of Militaria and Sporting, Julian Smith