A cigar butt discarded by Sir Winston Churchill and picked up by a policeman is expected to fetch up to £1,200 ($1,677) 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 ($4,192) later this month when members of the public will be able to bid.
Julian Dineen, specialist in charge of the Bellmans auction, 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.
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 ($13,974) each.
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 and while he was on police duty escorting Churchill, the Prime Minister smoked a cigar and Church picked up the discarded butt.
Bellmans’ next auctions are from May 25–28, and for more information visit www.bellmans.co.uk.
By Michael Drummond
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