Auctions | October 10, 2017

Winston Churchill Cigar and Manuscript up for Auction 

BOSTON, MA -  Winston Churchill's cigar from a 1947 trip to Paris will be auctioned by Boston-based RR Auction. 

Churchill’s half-smoked cigar from May 11, 1947 at Le Bourget Airport in Paris, measuring 4?? long, retaining the "La Corona / Winston Churchill" red-and-gold band at the end. 

The cigar was retained by Corporal William Alan Turner, Air Quartermaster with 24 Squadron Transport Command, who was a member of the cabin crew that flew Churchill and his wife from RAF Northolt to Paris and home again. 

Includes a candid photo of Churchill just before boarding his plane, this cigar in hand, signed in fountain pen, "Winston S. Churchill," contained in a small folder with Corporal Turner's pencil annotations on the opposite side: "A photograph I took from the doorway of York MW101 at Le Bourget airport, Paris, on 11th May 1947 just before we flew black to Northolt. He is surrounded by French ex-servicemen with whom he had been chatting. He stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray when he came aboard, and I took the remains into protective custody." 

Accompanied by a letter from Churchill's secretary, dated July 1, 1949, transmitting the signed photo to Turner. Also includes two of Turner's scrapbook pages bearing nineteen affixed candid photos recording the trip, showing other members of the 24 Squadron, the York MW101 airplane, sightseeing in Paris, the parade honoring Churchill, and Churchill's departure from Le Bourget. 

During the trip, Churchill went to the Palace des Invalides where he was awarded France's highest military honor, the Medaille Militaire. 

“The cigar became a major part of Churchill’s trademark look, the image he portrayed, and his public persona,” said Bobby Livingston, Executive VP at RR Auction, “whenever you see an image of him— a cigar is never far away.”

"Provenance is everything," said Livingston, “the letter along with the photographic evidence makes this highly collectible, and of the utmost desirability.”

8e540e720ea1cee43f90d2763f89f117f7a3c9e0.jpegAlso up is a Winston Churchill lengthy draft of a working manuscript for an important speech given by the Prime Minister in London on March 26, 1944.

The twenty-four typed pages on lightweight carbon paper; comprising pages 1-3 and 10-30. Ten pages have pencil edits and strikethroughs, presumably in his secretary’s hand.

In part: “I hope you will not imagine that I am going to try to make you some extraordinary pronouncement tonight and tell you exactly how all the problems of mankind in war and peace are going to be solved…We shall require from our people here, from Parliament, from the Press, from all classes, the same cool, strong nerves, the same toughness of fibre which stood us in good in the days when we were all alone under the blitz. 

Mussolini indeed escaped to eat the bread of affliction at Hitler’s table, to shoot his son-in-law, and to help the Germans wreak vengeance upon the Italian masses whom he had professed to love and over whom he had ruled for more than 20 years…This fate and judgment more terrible than death has overtaken the vainglorious dictator who stabbed France in the back and thought that his crime had gained him the empire of the Mediterranean… 

"The American victories in the Pacific and in particular their latest conquest and liberation of the Marshall Islands, constitute superb examples of the combination of naval, air and military force. It is possible that the war in the Pacific may progress more rapidly than was formerly thought possible. The Japanese are showing signs of great weakness… "

The Fine Autographs and Artifacts from RR Auction began on September 28 and will conclude on October 11.  More details can be found online at