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History

Collectibles

Bonhams scientific instruments sale preview includes rare Enigma machine

An auction of scientific, technological, and musical instruments, soon to be held at 1onhams Auction House in the UK, will headline with a 1941 M4 Enigma machine used by the German military during World War II to send encrypted messages. Unlike the 3-rotor machines whose cipher codes were famously broken by those working at Britain’s Bletchley Park during the war, the 4-rotor model heading to auction is among the rarest of the rare, and is sure to command a high price. Besides cipher machines, however, the sale also offers a range of unusual and sought after examples of scientific instruments and musical automata that should also attract a great deal of interest. We take a look at a few prime examples.Read More

Marine

Paul Allen recovers bell from HMS Hood

One of the great tragedies of the Second World War has been remembered with Microsoft co-founder and philanthropist Paul G Allen recovering the bell from the British battlecruiser HMS Hood, which was sunk in battle 74 years ago by Hitler’s flagship Bismarck. The brass ship's bell was recovered from a mile and a half (2.4 km) down in the Denmark Straits by a remote operated submersible (ROV) controlled from Allen's private yacht M/Y Octopus.Read More

Space

New Horizons is go for Pluto flyby

After over nine years of travel in deep space, NASA's New Horizons spacecraft is within hours of its historic flyby of Pluto. When the unmanned nuclear-powered probe speeds past the frozen dwarf planet tomorrow at 7:49 am EDT, it will mark not only the success of one of man's most ambitious space missions, but also the completion of the first era of planetary exploration that began in 1962 when the US Mariner 2 mission flew past Venus. Here's what to expect as events unfold.Read More

Collectibles

Historical scientific treats up for auction at Bonhams

In science, things can move quickly and once-vaunted instruments are often left by the wayside. Bonhams auction houses around the world regularly scoop 'em up and dust 'em off, inviting the technologically curious to take a little stroll through the history of scientific achievement and invest in what we've previously argued is one of the most undervalued collectibles marketplaces. Bonhams' upcoming Scientific, Technological and Mechanical Musical Instrument auction in London will showcase a range of rare and unique collectibles, with amputating saws and hand-cranked mechanical calculators all part of the mix.Read More

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