Per Ardua Libertas. Most Secret, a printed catalogue of MI9 covert equipment,
Lot 354
Per Ardua Libertas. Most Secret, a printed catalogue of MI9 covert equipment,
Sold for £5,250 (US$ 8,815) inc. premium
Auction Details
Per Ardua Libertas. Most Secret, a printed catalogue of MI9 covert equipment, Per Ardua Libertas. Most Secret, a printed catalogue of MI9 covert equipment,
Lot Details
Per Ardua Libertas. Most Secret, a printed catalogue of MI9 covert equipment,
produced to aid prisoners and operatives during WW2. Detailing different types of printed maps on fabric, escape aids including concealed compasses in coat buttons, pens and pipes, concealed hack saws. Specially designed flying boots converted which to normal footwear, convertible uniforms, innocuous domestic items and games which converted to secret message carriers, and all manner of devices whereby materials could be shipped to prisoners of war. Includes examples of printed maps, letterheads of front organisations and devices prepared to aid escaping prisoners.

Footnotes

  • Provenance:
    The Sun Engraving Company Limited.
    By 1935, Sun was the printer of 70% of Britain's mass-market magazines. During WW2, they printed much of the Allies' propaganda and training material. This catalogue gives a fascinating insight into the ingenuity employed to assist in the war effort.

    Formed in 1939, MI9 was a secret department of the War Office responsible for prisoners of war and covert operations. In November 1942 a group of American Intelligence Officers travelled to Britain to study MI9 techniques and operations, especially the production of maps on silk. Each was presented with a 76 page bound catalogue entitled Per Ardua Libertas to commemorate their visit. Very few examples of these books are known to have survived. Coming from the printers, these two volumes appear to be the proof copy and a presentation dummy for the final volume.
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