An Enigma Cipher machine is one of the more unusual offerings at Christie’s second annual Out of the Ordinary sale in South Kensington, London on September 3. The three rotor machine was the standard German ciphering machine widely used in World War II. In several variants it was used, among others, by the German Navy, the Wehrmacht, the Luftwaffe and the Abwehr (Intelligence). It was regarded by the Germans as too complex to be broken. Its decipherment at Bletchley Park is credited in some quarters are shortening World War II by two years. This version is estimated at £40,000-60,000.
The top lot in the sale is a late medieval broadsword with an earlier Viking blade bearing the arms of the De Bohun family (£80,000-120,000). Christie’s say it was possibly captured at the Battle of Hastings by Humphrey De Bohun. Unusual pop memorabilia in the sale include the front door of Sir Paul McCartney’s childhood home, 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, Liverpool (£6,000-8,000). Out of the Ordinary comprises over 180 lots with estimates from 500 to £120,000. A portion of the sale will be offered exclusively at Christie’s on-line with bidding from August 27 to September 10. Highlights of the online version include an elephant bird egg.
A THREE-ROTOR ENIGMA CIPHER MACHINE c1939
Number A-4127 (£40,000-60,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.
AN EXTREMELY RARE LATE MEDIEVAL BROADSWORD WITH EARLIER VIKING BLADE AND BEARING THE ARMS OF THE DE BOHUN FAMILY, EARLS OF HEREFORD AND ESSEX (£80,000-120,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014
A wooden front door, late 1950s, removed from 20 Forthlin Road, Allerton, Liverpool, the childhood home of Paul McCartney (£6,000-8,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014.
A VERY RARE RADFORD MINI DE VILLE
BY HAROLD RADFORD COACHBUILDERS LTD., 1964 (£40,000-50,000). Courtesy Christie’s Images Ltd., 2014