Enigma coding machine beats auction estimate in London

Enigma machine Bonhams described the working machine as "extremely rare"

Related Stories

A rare Enigma encoding machine has sold at auction in London for £85,250.

That is more than its £40,000-£60,000 estimate, but less than the £131,180 price an Enigma sold for last year.

The typewriter-like devices were used by the Nazis in World War II to encrypt and decode messages sent between the military and their commanders.

Interest has been high as this is the centenary year of Alan Turing's birth - the British mathematician who played a key role in breaking the Enigma code.

Auctioneer Bonhams said that the version sold was a three-rotor model used in Germany between 1938 and 1944.

"This particular example is in working order, completely untouched and un-restored," said Laurence Fisher, specialist head of technical apparatus at the auctioneer, ahead of the sale.

"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 machine's parts.

"This one has all elements bearing the same serial number, making this totally complete and original throughout."

Bonhams was unable to reveal the names of the parties involved, but said that the seller was from Europe and the buyer from the US.

The winning bid was made over the internet.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

More Technology stories

RSS

Features & Analysis

BBC Future

(Stanford University)

The buggy that reads your brain

A car with a sixth sense for danger Read more...

Programmes

  • (File photo) Usain BoltClick Watch

    Challenging the world's fastest man to a virtual race over 40m – can you keep up?

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.