Published: December 26, 2000
COLOGNE, GERMANY – The traditional Fall 2000 specialty auctions by Auctions Team Breker showed a notable price increase for rare technical collector’s rdf_Descriptions.
A sum of $86,927 was paid for a rare 10-Rotors Cipher machine “Enigma” from 1943, a machine which dramatically influenced the end of WWII. The 1923 creation of Arthur Scherbius, Berlin, the Enigma juggled 22 billion different code combinations and is the ancestor of the very first mechanical personal computer. It was offered at Breker for the first time at auction, which resulted in long bidding struggles between famous museums and company collections from Australia to the United States. The final sum represents a new world-record price.
A ‘normal’ 3-Rotors-Enigma brought $22,000, and Enigma parts like “3-Rotors” brought $6,137. Another Secret Service rdf_Description, an “Armed Forces Radio Finder” from 1943 reached an impressive $21,478.
In general, the early computer technology rdf_Descriptions have become the new collector’s rdf_Description. An ordinary 1960 Computer insert module for “Zuse Z22” by German inventory Konrad Zuse brought $1,688.
Typewriters and calculating machines reached top prices. More than 95 percent of the entire catalog sold. An 1894 American index typewriter “Crown,” for example, brought $6,903.
Classical telecommunication rdf_Descriptions like “Edison’s Stockticker” made $5,114 and a rare Telefon-Globe “Hide-A-Phone” from 1910 reached $3,835.
Collections of sewing machines, flat irons and early electrical household rdf_Descriptions continue their rise. A “New England-Type” sewing machine from 1865 made $2,045, an attractive 1880 Coal flat iron with dragon head reached $2,813 and an early iron from around 1700 was sold for $3,068. An early 1928 porcelain toaster “Blue Willow” was sold for $2,301.
A “Draisine,” an old replica of the very first bicycle by Freiherrn Karl von Drais, was sold to a new Far East museum for $6,136.
Scientific instruments demonstrated high demand. An unmarked English “Loft-Type” microscope, from around 1750, was sold for $6,136. An English “Cuff-Type” microscope by George Adams from the same period reached a high $7,670. And finally, a large “Triangulations-Theodolit” by Edward Troughton, London, from 1830 with damages, brought $5,625.
Gambling and vending machines included a boxing Automata “Shefras’ Bag Puncher” from 1930, which sold for $3,835.
Early Radio-Technology found its best seller in the “Telefunken Train” from 1924 with a $9,204 price.
Mechanical music instruments included an automata by Phalibois, Paris, from 1880, which sold for $7,670. The first 1890 coin operated music box, the “Symphonion Nr 130,” with a 21 and one-quarter -inch disc, made $6,392. The tall grandfather clock with musical box, “Symphonion Nr 30 St,” sold for $11,250, and the Trumpeter Bell-Organ by Bacigalupo, Berlin found a new home for $10,227.
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