Gadgets used before James Bond include WW2 bladed coins and hidden daggers
The Gadgets Spies Used Before James Bond Was Even Born: Hidden weapons and escape items used by British agents in WWII – from sharp coins to a dagger hidden in a Gillette razor – are up for auction
- A collection of pre-Bond spy equipment used in World War II has been auctioned
- The collection includes deadly daggers, bladed coins, and hidden compasses
- The authentic collection could go under the hammer for up to £5,000
A collection of intricately crafted secret weapons and escape items used by British spies during World War II has sold at auction for £5,000.
In scenes reminiscent of a classic James Bond adventure, the elaborate armory includes tiny deadly daggers, sharp coins and amazing compasses hidden in tubes.
And just like in Bond, every item sold looks perfectly harmless at first glance.
The beautiful design is the reason they went undetected when carried behind enemy lines by secret agents and aviators.
The collection was designed to be used by Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents and PoWs to overwhelm German guards – and their attention to detail means they were shockingly effective.
A 1942 two shilling concealed blade coin (right) and a German Third Reich 50 Reichspfennig coin (left)
The collection includes an assassination punch dagger hidden in a Gillette men’s razor set
This Bakelite whistle unscrews to reveal a small compass hidden in the mouthpiece
Among the items is a fountain pen that can be unscrewed to reveal a four-sided blade with a 5-inch “murder dagger”.
This is one of the most expensive items to go under the hammer – valued at £900.
Elsewhere, a Gillette brass razor set that conceals a 7-inch dagger blade in its hilt could fetch £700.
The blade is hidden in the fountain pen
The British engineers also found ways to make ordinary coins deadly.
A 1942 two shilling coin bearing the face of George VI has a hidden blade that pops out and there is also a German Third Reich coin with a blade on the reverse.
The collection also includes less-lethal devices such as an SOE-issued bakelite that unscrews to reveal a tiny 5mm compass hidden in the mouthpiece.
The device is believed to have helped escaped PoWs evade capture and is estimated at £800.
A seemingly inconspicuous £500 key has a removable screw tip with a hollowed-out core to insert a small message.
An escape compass is enclosed in the stub of a 1.5 inch long pencil.
The single owner collection of around 10 lots, put together by a British militaria collector, will go under the hammer at Sworders auction house of Stansted Mountfitchet, Essex.
Otto Billström, Swordsman Specialist, said: “The items come from a single owner’s collection and were acquired by the Militaria collector within the last five to ten years.
“They were worn by anyone behind enemy lines to evade capture or smuggled into POW camps.
“My favorite piece is the whistle, which has a tiny 5mm compass hidden in the mouthpiece. It’s such an impressive way of hiding it.’
The sale will take place on February 7th.
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