Lot 6333

An "Enigma I" cipher machine, serial number "A 10694", with original wooden case

German Historical Collectibles from 1919 onwards | A82r | Live auction | 777 Lots

Starting Price € 50,000

Countdown for bids : 1 days and 0 hours left



Three encryption rotors in Bakelite with an aluminium hand wheel, bearing the numbers 1 through 26, a Wehrmacht acceptance stamp and the Roman numerals "I", "IV" and "V". The machine (stamped on the base plate), keys, reversal rotor and wooden case all with matching numbers. The wooden transport case containing instructions for use/maintenance, a spare lamp panel, a text holder, a green contrast pane and two spare patch cords. Signs of age and handling, the rotor protective cover damaged. Although functional, the patch cords should be replaced. The machine has been carefully restored and is in full working order. A matching modern battery module can be supplied upon request. This machine is of Type I, as it was introduced in 1929 with the Wehrmacht. This type remained in service with the Army and the Luftwaffe until the very end of the war, undergoing only moderate modifications. Approximately 24.000 units were built. Our sample bears the serial number A10694 and was produced in 1940 at „Chiffriermaschinen Gesellschaft Heimsoeth und Rinke“ in Berlin. It was part of the first shipment to the Wehrmacht in this year, commencing with serial number A10679. A total of 760 machines were delivered in 1940. The Type I of 1940 is characterized by a Reflector Mod. B (in German “Umkehrwalze Typ B”), which was introduced in 1937, a plugboard (in German „Steckerbrett“) with 10 connections (introduced in August of 1939), and a default supply of five rotors rather than three as was the case until December of 1938. The serial number can be found printed on two aluminium plates on the wooden case and the metal case of the Enigma, stamped into the floorplate, and engraved into the reflector and each of the three rotors. Which makes this machine an extreme rarity, as rotors were subject to the highest secrecy, transported separately, frequently destroyed and hardly ever remained with the original machine.   Of the original supply of 12 patch cords there are still six on the plugboard and two spare ones. All lamps lighting up as they should. On the protective cover of the rotors the front right corner broken off and missing. The machine has been fully tested and carefully restored by a well-known German cryptographic expert into good working order. Rotor 1 is somewhat sensitive to changes in temperature and relative humidity and might occasionally behave erratically, as the spring-loaded pins do not always make contact with the neighbouring contact plates. However, this minor flaw can easily be fixed. At the end of the day this machine is a phantastic opportunity for the professional collector to add a museum-quality sample with all matching serial numbers in good working order to his collection, an item of which at most a handful in matching condition have survived to this day. Condition: II Questions about the lot?

General Information

The auction includes 779 lots and starts on Friday, May 29, 2020 at 10 am (CET). Lot no. 6001 - 6778. The pre-sale viewing will take place from May 21 - 24, 2020 from 2 to 6 pm (CET). However, the number of participants for both auction and viewing is limited due to Covid-19 restrictions and requires an appointment. Bring your favourite breathing mask! Prior to any visit please check our website - we'll update it as soon as the situation changes.