Winston Churchill engrossed in his hobby of oil painting at Miami Beach
Winston Churchill is seen smoking a cigar while engaging in his other favourite hobby, oil paintingGetty

A half-smoked cigar puffed by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill has sold for $12,000 (£9,045) in an online auction.

Boston-based RR Auction says the four-inch cheroot was bought on Wednesday evening (11 October) by a collector from Palm Beach, Florida. The buyer's name has not been released.

The US auction firm says Churchill smoked the cigar on 11 May 1947, at Le Bourget Airport in Paris.

During the trip, two years after VE Day, Churchill went to the Palace des Invalides where he was awarded France's highest military honour, the Medaille Militaire.

The stub was taken from an ashtray by British airman Corporal William Alan Turner, whose crew flew Churchill and his wife, Clementine, back to London.

The label on the Cuban cigar included Churchill's name and the item was accompanied with a signed photo, which showed the Second World War leader with it in his hand.

On the back of the photo, Corporal Turner wrote: "A photograph I took from the doorway of York MW101 at Le Bourget airport, Paris, on 11th May 1947 just before we flew black to Northolt.

"He is surrounded by French ex-servicemen with whom he had been chatting. He stubbed out his cigar in an ashtray when he came aboard, and I took the remains into protective custody."

It is not the first time one of Churchill's cigars has gone for thousands of pounds at auction.

In 2010, a Havana cigar he gave to a fellow diner at the Hotel de Paris in Monte Carlo in 1963 sold for £2,125.

Five years later, the chewed end of a cigar he smoked at a hospital in 1962 fetched £2,000.