Churchill, Winston (1871 – 1915)
Churchill’s cigar butt, and related signed letter
The end portion of a cigar, measuring 2.25˝ in length, presented to Sir George Elliston by Prime Minister Winston Churchill during a meeting at 10 Downing Street in early January 1954. Included with the cigar is a typed letter signed ‘Yours sincerely, Winston S. Churchill’, Prime Minister letterhead, January 8th, 1954.
The letter, which makes reference to the very meeting that Churchill would present the souvenir cigar to Elliston, reads, ‘I should be greatly honoured by the suggested memorial in the Guildhall and it would give me great pleasure to receive Mr. Walker and yourself at Downing Street next week. I expect to be there on Tuesday and will, if I may, suggest a time to you a little later.’ Churchill adds the salutation in his own hand, “Dear Sir George.’ In very fine condition.
Accompanied by the original mailing letter, a transcribed copy of the original letter sent from Elliston, and a provenance note, which reads, ‘This is the end of a cigar presented to George Sampson Elliston at 10 Downing Street by Sir Winston Churchill and smoked during an interview between the two to decide upon the sculptor for the statue of Sir Winston in Guildhall which was originally conceived and proposed by Sir George Elliston. This interview was the last official business undertaken by Sir George before his death.’
On June 21st 1955, the Lord Mayor of London unveiled Oscar Nemon’s statue of Sir Winston Churchill in London’s Guildhall. At this event, Churchill said of his statue, ‘I greatly admire the art of Mr. Oscar Nemon whose prowess in the ancient realm of sculpture has won such remarkable modern appreciation. I also admire this particular example, which you, my Lord Mayor, have just unveiled, because it seems to be such a very good likeness.’