Cryptology is an old science and its usage can be traced back to antediluvian era, but with the advent of machines in the 20th century and the two world wars, enciphering techniques got a lot more complicated and scientific. Germans can be credited as the pioneers of modern day cryptology. The ‘Enigma Machine’, used by the Nazis before and during the WWII, gave a tough time to the Allied forces and had a clear tactical edge. Clad in a wooden box, it might deceptively appear to be an antiquated typewriter but it decided the fate of many a battles. Post the war and the victory of Allied forces, most of the records of the Enigma machines were lost, and out of the 5 of them estimated to be ever made, a few of enciphering machines were taken as souvenirs by the Allies.
On such rare piece of history, an untouched, un-restored, fully-functional Enigma Enciphering machine will go under the hammer at the Bonhams cameras, scientific Instruments and mechanical music sale in London’s Knightsbridge on October 29th. The extremely rare three-rotor German Enigma enciphering machine (1944) by Heimsoeth & Rinke, Serial No. 19088, is expected to fetch between £30,000 and £50,000. All the components of the machine bear the same serial number and work perfectly fine making it one of rarest and most valued WWII collectors’ item.
[Via – Bonhams]