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Tuesday, December 7, 2021

Ernest Hemingway’s billiard cue, lost in a boozy beauty contest bet, to be sold at auction

Mr Zamperetti treasured the billiard cue until his death. It is his son, Aldo, who has decided to sell it at auction.

“My father accompanied his sister Ornella to Stresa for the competition,” Aldo Zamperetti said on Monday.

“Hemingway passed the evening between the billiard table and the bar of the Hotel Des Iles Borromées, where my dad was staying.

“They struck up a friendship over rivers of alcohol, old war stories and billiard games. My father was a veteran of the battles of El Alamein and the Kasserine Pass in North Africa and took part in a 3,000km retreat into the desert with a tribe of Tuareg nomads. So he had plenty to tell (Hemingway).

“Hemingway was convinced that Ornella would win and my father was convinced she would lose. The girl from Trieste won and so the billiard cue, from which Hemingway had always been inseparable, passed to my father, a young pharmacist from Bologna.”

The billiard cue will be offered for sale on December 11 by an auction house in Catania called Art La Rosa. It comes 60 years after Hemingway’s death in 1961.

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