Published: April 4, 2023
KÖLN, GERMANY — On March 25, Auction Team Breker conducted its first sale of the year, which focused on antique technology and scientific objects. The auction lasted for 10 hours online and attracted bidders from China, all of east Asia, including Japan and South Korea, Europe, the Arab nation and the United States, which represented the majority of participants. From five international online bidding platforms, the auction brought a total of more than $900,000.
Leading this was an “Enigma 1” cyphering machine from 1944 with “special switching and wiring.” According to the object description, “So complex was the Enigma, it was considered capable of producing over 22 billion code combinations without a single repetition.” The machine was in working condition with minimal wear from having been through a war, and sold for $272,030. Next was another intricate apparatus, an 1855 telegraph model patented by Leroy S. White and Lewis White. The brass mechanism was contained in a wood frame, topped with mother-of-pearl keys and retained its original patent tag; it was bid to $69,300. Third highest was a group lot of two three-inch pocket globes from English maker Nicholas Lane, circa 1800-25. The terrestrial and celestial globes opened to reveal concave cartographic interiors, and achieved $27,200 together.
Prices quoted with buyer’s premium and converted to dollars on day of sale by the auction house. For information, +49 2236 38 43 40 or www.breker.com.
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