Gadgets used by spies before James Bond was born: Hidden weapons and escape items used by British operatives in WWII – from edged coins to daggers hidden in Gillette razors – put up for auction
- A collection of pre-James Bond spy gadgets used in World War II is up for auction
- Collection includes deadly dagger, bladed coin and hidden compass
- A real collection could cost as much as £5,000 with a hammer
A collection of cunningly crafted secret weapons and escape items used by British spies during World War II has turned out to sell for £5,000 at auction.
In scenes reminiscent of classic James Bond adventures, an ingenious arsenal includes a deadly little dagger, a coin with a blade, and an amazing hidden compass hidden in a pipe.
Just like Bond, every item sold is seemingly harmless.
Its beautiful design is why it went undetected when carried by covert operatives and airmen behind enemy lines.
This collection was designed to be used by Special Operations Executive (SOE) agents and prisoners of war to defeat German guards.
A 2 shilling coin with hidden blade dated 1942 (right) and a German Third Reich 50 Reichspfennig coin (left)
This collection includes an assassin punch dagger hidden in a gentleman’s Gillette razor kit.
Unscrew this bakelite pipe to reveal a small compass hidden in the mouthpiece
Among the items is a fountain pen, which unscrews to reveal a 5-inch long four-sided blade “Assassination Dagger”.
This is one of the most expensive items under the hammer, worth £900.
Elsewhere, a Gillette brass razor kit with a seven-inch long dagger blade hidden in the handle sold for £700.
The blade is hidden inside the fountain pen
British engineers also found a way to make regular coins deadly.
A 1942 2 shilling coin depicts the face of George VI with a hidden blade protruding from it, and there is also a German Third Reich coin with a blade on the reverse side.
The collection also includes low-lethal contraptions such as the SOE-issued Bakelite, which reveals a small 5mm compass hidden in the mouthpiece when unscrewed.
The gadget is believed to have helped an escaped prisoner of war evade capture and is estimated at 800 lbs.
Worth £500, the seemingly unremarkable key has a removable screw tip with a hollow core for inserting small messages.
1 escape compass inside a 1.5 inch long pencil.
A single-owner collection of about 10 lots, put together by British military collectors, is put under the hammer by auctioneer Soders of Mountfitchet, Stansted, Essex.
“The items are from a single owner’s collection and have been acquired by military collectors in the last five to 10 years,” said Otto Bilström, a soda specialist.
“They were brought either by those who found themselves behind enemy lines or smuggled into prisoner-of-war camps to avoid capture.
My favorite item is a pipe with a small 5mm compass hidden in the mouthpiece. It’s a very impressive way to hide it.
Sale is February 7th.