Published: December 30, 2003
The 75-year-old mouse was no match for the legendary German cipher machine from World War II at Auction Team Breker’s sale of technical antiques on November 29.
“Enigma,” the cipher machine, was the top seller at $32,900, while an exceptional rare tin toy motorbike by Tipp & Co., Nuremberg, with Mickey and Minnie made $31,500, primarily due to the replaced arms.
Other highlights of the sale included the German calculating machine “Adsumudi,” which realized $28,600; a rare World War I radio receiver by Telefunken, which reached the new record level of $14,300; an exceptionally early telephone by Ericsson, which was sold for $5,720; and an excellent fountain pen by Mont Blanc, which changed ownership for $1,150.
An unusual and rare pocket typewriter sold for $3,750, and a heraldic animal-type Swiss bear hat stand reached $6,750. From the world of inventions, Joseph Storer’s, London/UK, amazing patented “Perpetual Fountain” from 1871 set a new world record with $9,300. The fascinating classic original printing press Columbia Press by Clymer & Dixon, London, 1840, found a new home in a well-known private printing historical collection for $17,200.
A spectacular coin-operated Wurlitzer Nickelodeon Orchestrion went for $16,050. A very early French cyclist automaton, circa 1850, found in an important French private overseas collection, brought $4,750, while a giant selection of different mechanical musical instruments offered special rarities, like a coin-operated music automaton cognac dispenser, which was sold for $7,300 to a private collection in the United States.
An early German coin-op station cylinder musical box, circa 1880, went for $15,750. The spectacular coin-op Gramophone with extremely rare and extraordinary orchid-type tin horn from 1906 sold for $4,600, while a fairy phonograph lamp from 1919 reached $4,750.
An American Wurlitzer model 10151/2 music box from 1945 sold for $11,500, and a Symphonion “Rokoko” German music box waltzed to a new record high of $9,300. Finally, the “grandfather” of all musical boxes, the Polyphon no. 1041/2 from 1900 made $12,200.
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