If you want a piece of history from World War II, you should visit upcoming Christie’s auction on September 29, 2011. There you will find Enigma, an encoding device for encrypt messages used by Nazis in WW II, and you can bid for it.
During the war the Enigma Encoder was the most advanced device of its kind and a forerunner of the first modern computer systems. This rare machine is an electro-mechanical device that relies on a series of rotors to scramble plaintext messages into incoherent ciphertext. Enigma machine was used by the German military to send hidden messages before the code it used was famously cracked at Bletchley Park Complex.
Christie’s specialist James Hyslop told: It is rare for one to come up for sale. Many are believed to have been produced but it’s not a particularly high survival.
The Enigma was redesigned and improved several times in the following years, and this particular machine was made in 1944. It uses four code rotors and is housed in a wooden case. With it comes a rare survival, a smaller case containing five interchangeable spare rotors.
Simon Greenish, Director of the Bletchley Park Museum explains: The importance of the Enigma machine and the efforts of those at Bletchley to decode it cannot be underestimated. Historians have, until comparatively recently, recognized that Bletchley played a very significant part in the war, shortening it by at least two years, he says. But some are now beginning to say that perhaps it made the difference in terms of winning (the war).
In November last year, the world record price for one these machines sold at auction was set at $106,000, so it is hoped this most advanced Enigma machine which was used in WW II will top the amount. [Christie’s]