Queen Victoria’s slippers - and Churchill cigar butt - go on sale in Sussex

A pair of Queen Victoria’s slippers and a cigar butt owned by Winston Churchill are among items up for sale at a Sussex auction this month.

Tuesday, 11th May 2021, 3:41 pm

The unusual items will go under the hammer at Bellmans auction house in Wisborough Green on May 26.

The royal slippers are expected to sell for between £2,000-£3,000 and the half-smoked cigar for between £800-£1,200.

The cream satin ballet-style slippers with gold thread bands and raised rosettes were made in the 1840s/1850s by the boot and shoe makers to the royal family, Gundry & Sons.

Queen Victoria's slippers

The shoes had been gifted by Queen Victoria to her Mistress of the Robes, Harriet Sutherland-Leveson-Gower, Duchess of Sutherland.

Her granddaughter Lady Florence married Henry Chaplin, 1st Viscount Chaplin, and the slippers stayed in the Chaplin family until they were sold at Burwell Auctions in May last year, where the present owner acquired them.

A similar pair of Queen Victoria’s slippers can be found in a collection at the Science Museum.

Shoes such as these were used for dancing and indoor wear and were often a few sizes too small to make the women’s feet look more delicate.

Churchill's half-smoked cigar

The cigar butt that belonged to Sir Winston was acquired by the current owner’s grandfather, Arthur Church, who served as a policeman at Scotland Yard in the 1940s.

He was on police duty escorting Churchill while the Prime Minister smoked a cigar - and Mr Church picked up the discarded butt.

The 7cm long butt is being sold with a piece of paper in three parts inscribed ‘THROWN AWAY TUESDAY SEPT *** 194* BY RT HON WINSTON CHURCHILL.’