BOSTON — A King Henry VIII-signed document discussing sponsoring the feast day of St. George sold for $66,435, and a box of 10 of Winston Churchill’s personal brand of cigars commanded $19,159 at RR Auction on August 10.
The one-page vellum manuscript, signed “Henry R,” is dated July 26, 1536. With this document, King Henry VIII orders the treasurer and chamberlain to pay Edmund Peckham, accountant of the Royal House, the sum of 19 pounds and 13 shillings to cover the expenses of the feast held on the occasion of the solemnity of St. George, patron saint of England.
St. George’s Day was a major feast day and national holiday in England that was on a par with Christmas between the early 15th century and the 17th century, but its popularity waned by the end of the 18th century, following the union of England and Scotland.
“King Henry VIII’s autograph is rare and highly sought in any form,” said RR Auction Executive VP Bobby Livingston, adding, “and this is an especially significant document pertaining to St. George’s Day.”
Also performing well at the August 10 auction was a box of 10 of Winston Churchill’s personal La Corona cigars, which sold for $19,159. The cigars were made by Alvarez Lopez y Cia of Havana, Cuba, with each cigar featuring a red band imprinted in white with the prime minister’s name.
Churchill gave the original recipient the cigars while the person worked in an official capacity as an attendant between 1940 and 1945, according to the brother of the recipient in a letter of provenance that accompanied the lot. Churchill was reportedly first supplied with Corona cigars with his name on the band in 1940 as a generous gesture of support by New York businessman Samuel Kaplan.
“The Cuban cigar became an integral component of Churchill’s public image — he smoked as many as 10 a day, and was rarely pictured without one,” said Livingston.
Additional highlights from the sale include an Abraham Lincoln document, signed as president, on rebuilding the North-South economy in 1865, which earned $41,321.
Also, a Marilyn Monroe-signed photograph for the 1954 movie River of No Return realized $20,660, and a Karel Capek-signed first edition of his R.U.R. — the play that introduced the word “robot” to the global lexicon — attained $30,244.
The Fine Autograph and Artifacts auction began on July 20 and concluded on August 10. For more information, go to www.rrauction.com.
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