Cigar smoked by Sir Winston Churchill nearly 80 years ago set to be sold at auction in Derbyshire

The family kept the cigar on display with a photo and quirky figure of Sir Winston, which are also being sold with the item. Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

A cigar smoked by Sir Winston Churchill nearly 80 years ago has been found in a glass jar and is set to be sold at auction in Derbyshire.

The wartime leader gave a half-smoked cigar to Hugh Stonehewer-Bird, consul general in Rabat, Morocco between 1943 and 1945, following a dinner party he hosted for the British prime minister.

Mr Stonehewer-Bird preserved the cigar in a glass jar and treasured it until his death in 1973 at the age of 81, his family said.

Now, his relatives have decided it is time to sell the piece of memorabilia after 50 years of looking after it and it will go under the hammer with Derbyshire-based Hansons Auctioneers.

This cigar smoked by Churchill during WW2 was discovered in glass jar. Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

Hugh’s granddaughter said: “My grandparents were great Churchill fans.

"They kept the cigar on display with a photo and quirky figure of Sir Winston, which are also being sold with the item.

“My grandfather was born in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, in 1891. He worked in the Foreign Office and, during his time in Rabat during the Second World War, hosted Churchill.

“A dinner party was held in the prime minister’s honour and he gave my grandfather the half-smoked cigar at the end of the event."

The leader gave the cigar to Hugh Stonehewer-Bird, consul general in Rabat, Morocco. Credit: Hansons Auctioneers

Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, said: “It’s amazing what turns up in glass jars.

"This is an iconic piece of memorabilia connected to one of Britain’s most famous prime ministers and the Second World War.“

Churchill was renowned for his love of cigars and occasionally gave them as gifts to people who had helped him in any way.

“People went to great lengths to preserve them for posterity and, in this case, a glass jar has done an excellent job for 79 years.“

The cigar will go under the hammer on 16 June with a guide price of £600 to £900.