ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944
ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944
ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944
ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944
ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944
ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944
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ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944

Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 GBP

ENIGMA MACHINE | Operational Service Enigma (Enigma I), 1944

Estimate: 50,000 - 70,000 GBP

Lot Sold:93,750GBP
(7 bids, reserve met)

Lot Details

Description

ENIGMA I

A Fully Operational Three-Rotor Enigma I Cipher Machine. Berlin: Heimsoeth und Rinke, 1944 


Serial number A15330 / jla / 44, with three original aluminium rotors with matching serial numbers (I-III) and also two additional rotors (IV-V, serial number A603), each rotor with 26 numbered positions, control panel with standard raised "QWERTZ" keyboard of 26 glass and metal keys with white on black backgrounds, light panel with letters A-Z and hinged rotor cover lifting to reveal 26 light bulbs, reflector & rotor compartment, and battery compartment, ebonite Steckerbrett (plug-board) with 10 patch-cables (8 plugged into Steckerbrett), housed in the original oak case (150 x 280 x 340mm when closed) with leather handle, hinged front panel opening to reveal Steckerbrett, lid with 10 spare bulbs, green contrast filter, 2 spare patch-cables, and instruction panel ("Zur Beachtung!"), two spare rotors in a replacement box; restoration to rotors and reflector, and to case; instruction panel, contrast filter, and power source indicator plate all replaced in modern facsimile; Stecker cables with replacement cables and possibly some modern facsimile plugs; modern bulbs

[with:] two NSA pamphlets on Enigma and its decryption


A VERY FINE, FULLY OPERATIONAL 3-ROTOR ENIGMA I CIPHER MACHINE. The Enigma I, also called the "Heeres" Enigma, was used by the German Heer (Army), and the Luftwaffe (Air Force). Patented in 1918 by Arthur Scherbius, the Enigma machine uses three electromechanical cipher wheels, each with 26 contacts at either side. The three rotors would be placed in pre-arranged positions, and the user would then type in a plain text message using the keyboard. The machine would encipher the message by passing current through each rotor (twice) and the plugboard, and each corresponding encoded letter would light up on the light panel. The enciphered message would then be sent to the receiving party, usually via Morse code. The receiving party would then decipher the message, using another Enigma machine with the rotors and plugs set to the same position as the first. Keying the machine would alter the setting of the rotors, the rotors were interchangeable, and the plugboard added further permutations, so whilst the machine would always perform the same conversion with the same setting, overall there were a total number of 159 million million million possible daily keys.


The Enigma machine set a challenge that was answered by the remarkable team at Bletchley Park, whose achievements provide one of the most compelling stories of World War II. Breaking Enigma was the work of many, including Polish cryptographers who had already begun to decipher Enigma traffic before the war; naval forces who risked their lives capturing Enigma machines and code books; Alan Turing and other mathematicians with their revolutionary models for deciphering; Tommy Flowers and other mechanical geniuses who designed 'Colossus', the world's first programmable digital computer, at the GPO Research Centre at Dollis Hill in north west London; the hundreds of Wrens who operated the Bombes and, later, Colossus machines that made possible the daily decrypts. Their work saved countless lives and had an enormous impact on the submarine war in the Atlantic, the North African campaign, and the Normandy invasion; the work of Bletchley Park is often said to have shortened the war by two years. Furthermore, by coming to the understanding that to defeat Enigma it was necessary to mechanize much of the work of decryption, they helped to inaugurate the computer age.


PROVENANCE:

Used immediately after World War II by the German police; restored by a German machinist; Tom Perera (Enigma Museum); to the current owner in 2009, who has allowed the machine to be displayed in the board room of Ovation Systems, a manufacturer of security equipment for government agencies, including encryption devices.


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Condition Report

Condition is described in the main body of the catalogue, where appropriate.


The lot is sold in the condition it is in at the time of sale. The condition report is provided to assist you with assessing the condition of the lot and is for guidance only. Any reference to condition in the condition report for the lot does not amount to a full description of condition. The images of the lot form part of the condition report for the lot provided by Sotheby's. Certain images of the lot provided online may not accurately reflect the actual condition of the lot. In particular, the online images may represent colours and shades which are different to the lot's actual colour and shades. The condition report for the lot may make reference to particular imperfections of the lot but you should note that the lot may have other faults not expressly referred to in the condition report for the lot or shown in the online images of the lot. The condition report may not refer to all faults, restoration, alteration or adaptation because Sotheby's is not a professional conservator or restorer but rather the condition report is a statement of opinion genuinely held by Sotheby's. For that reason, Sotheby's condition report is not an alternative to taking your own professional advice regarding the condition of the lot.

English Literature, History, Children’s Books and Illustrations
Online bidding closed10 Dec 2019 | 03:44 PM GMT