German Enigma machine up 20% on estimate at Bonhams

paulfrasercollectibles

2015-06-26 13:29:57

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German Enigma machine up 20% on estimate at Bonhams

A German Enigma machine broke $96,000 at the October 29 auction

A three rotor Enigma enciphering machine circa 1940-1941 realised 60,000 ($96,240) at Bonhams London on October 29.

The device saw an increase of 20% on its estimate of 30,000-50,000 ($48,135-80,225). It featured the original three rotors along with matching serial numbers.

Enigma machine BonhamsThe machines were constantly updated, making early models extremely rare

Enigma machines were used by axis forces to send coded messages during the second world war.

The Allies set up a number of listening stations, most at Bletchley Park - where mathematicians, including Alan Turing, worked to decode the messages.

The successful deciphering of the code considerably shortened the war and saved thousands of lives.

Another Enigma machine in the sale realised 57,500 ($92,316) against an identical estimate - up 15%.

In 2011, an Enigma machine used in the 2001 film Enigma sold for 133,250 ($208,137) - a world record price for such a device at auction.

We have this photograph signed by Guy Gibson, leader of the Dambusters raid in 1943.

The auction featured a variety of mechanical instruments, including a Jacques Bruguier singing bird box.

The silver and enamel box features a feathered bird which moves and sings, and was made in Switzerland in around 1835.

Bruguier bird boxBruguier was an 19th century Swiss maker of musical snuff boxes

Work by Bruguier proved popular, with another bird box circa 1865 realising 33,750 ($54,185). It features an alpine scene on the lid along with fine enamelling and engraving.

Another box from the 1830s realised 22,500 ($36,123).

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