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Extremely rare World War Two German Enigma enciphering machine expected to fetch up to £60,000 at auction

Bonhams undated handout photo of a German enigma enciphering machine which will go under the hammer today and is expected to fetch up to �60,000. 
PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 14, 2012. Built by Heimsoeth and Rinke in 1941, the oak-encased machine which encrypted German codes during the Second World War is the three-rotor version, used between 1938 and 1944. See PA story SALE Enigma. Photo credit should read: Bonhams/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

Bonhams undated handout photo of a German enigma enciphering machine which will go under the hammer today and is expected to fetch up to �60,000. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday November 14, 2012. Built by Heimsoeth and Rinke in 1941, the oak-encased machine which encrypted German codes during the Second World War is the three-rotor version, used between 1938 and 1944. See PA story SALE Enigma. Photo credit should read: Bonhams/PA Wire NOTE TO EDITORS: This handout photo may only be used in for editorial reporting purposes for the contemporaneous illustration of events, things or the people in the image or facts mentioned in the caption. Reuse of the picture may require further permission from the copyright holder.

  • by REBECCA MONKS
 

A rare German Enigma enciphering machine is going under the hammer today, and is expected to fetch between £40,000 and £60,000 at auction.

The machine, which is being sold by Bonhams today in Knightsbridge, was used to pass on coded German messages during the second world war. Built in 1941 by Heimsoeth and Rinke, it is an example of a three rotor enigma, which was used by the military between 1938 and 1944.

Laurence Fisher, Specialist Head of Mechanical Music, Technical Apparatus & Scientific Instruments at Bonhams said: “Enigma machines come up very rarely at auction. This particular example is in working order, completely untouched and un-restored.

“Many machines were picked up by the allies as souvenirs during the final stages of the second World War and as such, in later years, tended to be ‘mixed and matched’, where rotors, outer cases and head blocks were replaced with another machines’ parts. This one has all elements bearing the same serial number, making this totally complete and original throughout.”

Other items available at the auction include enigma rotas, which are expected to sell for up to £8,000, and a fine veri-gold split seed-pearl, diamond and ruby embellished bird box which is expected to sell for up to £80,000.

 

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