The 22nd International Habanos Festival in Havana, Cuba, raised a record 4.7 million U.S. dollars from its traditional auction of one-of-a-kind cigar humidors.
The festival's closing gala Friday night put six humidors on the auction block, including one donated by the family of Britain's Simon Chase, who passed away in March 2019 after serving for several years as the festival's official auctioneer.
Chase had for decades worked for Hunters & Frankau, a distributor of cigars in Britain.
For the first time ever, a Cohiba brand humidor fetched more than 2.6 million dollars at the festival auction.
"It was a surprise that shows the strength of cigars and their brands, especially Cohiba, the best-known of the 27 brands we have," said Leopoldo Cintra, vice president of marketing at state-run cigar company Habanos S.A., which organizes the festival.
All proceeds from the auction go to help pay for Cuba's universal healthcare system.