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Instruments of Science & Technology / A RARE HEIMSOETH UND RINKE 3-ROTOR ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE, BERLIN, 1942,

Lot 24
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A RARE HEIMSOETH UND RINKE 3-ROTOR ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE,
BERLIN, 1942,
28 September 2022, 14:00 BST
London, Knightsbridge

Sold for £138,900 inc. premium

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A RARE HEIMSOETH UND RINKE 3-ROTOR ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE, BERLIN, 1942,

serial number A 11787, inner front panel with "Klappe schliessen", rotors IV (A10656), I (A5713) Wa69, III (A10440) WaA316 and Type B reflector serial no. A2280, standard QWERTZ keyboard of 26 keys, white on black backgrounds, battery switch, ebonite Steckerbrett [plugboard] with 8 stecker cables (6 plugged into the Steckerbrett and 2 spares stored in the top lid of case), battery casing numbered 24, upper lid with 9 bulbs, contrast filter, and original "Zur Beachtung" instructions inside the lid In its original stained oak box, with hinged front panel,
11in x 6in x 13 1/2in (28cm x 15.2cm x 34.5cm) overall

Footnotes

Patented by Arthur Scherbius in 1918, the Enigma machine utilizes three interchangeable rotors which scramble plain-text messages and produce a cipher text message which is then sent, generally via Morse code, to a receiving party with an Enigma set up in the same configuration as the sending Enigma. All of the machines could use the interchangeable wheels from any enigma, so to find a matching set of wheels with the same serial number as the Enigma is extremely rare. Though the German military was familiar with the Enigma, it was not adopted as their primary cipher device until 1926, when they discovered that all German naval coded messages had been intercepted and read by the British during the latter half of WWI.

At the end of the Second World War, this Enigma machine was captured and subsequently used by the Norwegian Police Security Service (Overvaakingspolitiet). It is therefore safe to assume that the rotors and the B reflector of A11787 have the modified Norwegian wiring.

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