Orson Welles

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Orson Welles

Signed Bank Check to Alfred Dunhill - 1956

Bank check signed by one of Hollywood’s most prolific talents—and a devoted cigar smoker—Orson Welles. Drawn on Security-First National Bank of Los Angeles, dated December 3, 1956, payable to Alfred Dunhill for $47.84, very likely for the famed Dunhill’s tobacco blend in their fine cigars. Check has typed date, payee, and amounts, and was hand-signed by Welles. In excellent condition.

 Orson Welles smoking a cigar

Alfred Dunhill was an early 20th-century English tobacconist and progenitor of the famed Dunhill luxury goods company and the Dunhill branded tobacco products. Dunhill ran a company selling motoring accessories, and in 1902 opened a shop in Mayfair. He developed a pipe designed for motorists in 1904, and a tobacconist’s shop in St James’s in 1907, offering tailored tobacco blends. Shops were later opened in New York and Paris in the 1920s. With his international ambitions, Dunhill helped to create the modern luxury goods market.

Before the Cuban Revolution, Dunhill had numerous distribution and marketing agreements with several Cuban cigar manufacturers, selling exclusive and hard to find brands such as Don Cándido and Dunhill’s own Selección Suprema line, with various sizes from many famous cigar makers such as Montecristo and Romeo y Julieta. Dunhill became famous as the tobacconist of choice for King George VI and the prodigious cigar smoker Sir Winston Churchill.

ORSON WELLES (1915-1985) was an Academy Award-winning American director, writer, actor and producer for film, stage, radio and television. Welles first gained wide notoriety for his October 30, 1938, radio broadcast of H. G. Wells’ The War of the Worlds. Adapted to sound like a contemporary news broadcast, it caused a number of listeners to panic. In the mid-1930s, his New York theatre adaptations of an all-black voodoo Macbeth and a contemporary allegorical Julius Caesar became legendary. Welles was also an accomplished magician, starring in troop variety spectacles in the war years. During this period he became a serious political activist and commentator through journalism, radio and public appearances closely associated with Franklin D. Roosevelt. In 1941, he co-wrote, directed, produced and starred in Citizen Kane, often chosen in polls of film critics as the greatest film ever made.