A half-smoked cigar, hastily discarded by Winston Churchill in 1941, has been sold for 4,500 pounds at an Aylsham auction house.
The four-inch, unfinished "smoke" took everyone at Keys auctioneers by surprise today as it became the subject of a bidding war between two collectors.
Sarah Prior, of Keys, said there had been huge international interest in the lot leading up to the sale but no-one had expected it to fetch 15 times its original 300 pounds estimate.
She said: "We knew it would probably reach four figures, but we couldn't have dreamed it would go for 4,500 pounds," North Norfolk News reports.
According to Norfolk Eastern Daily Press, the four-inch cigar came from the lips of the wartime statesman before he dashed away to an urgent cabinet meeting on August 22, 1941.
It was quickly collected up by Downing Street valet Nellie Goble and sent to a friend, along with a note explaining its background.
Written on a sheet of Number 10 notepaper, it said: "Just a small souvenir to remind you at some future date of one of the greatest men that ever lived in England."
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