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 be as much as 5000 pounds under the 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 £5000 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 King George VI, concealing a protruding blade. There are also German Third Reich coins with blades on the reverse side.
The collection also includes non-lethal contraptions, such as the SOE-issued Bakelite that unscrews to reveal a small 5mm compass hidden in the mouthpiece.
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 ten lots, put together by British military collectors, is put under the hammer by auctioneer Soders of Mountfitchet, Stansted, Essex.
Soder specialist Otto Bilström said:
“They were brought by those who found themselves behind enemy lines and tried to evade capture, or smuggled them into prison camps.
“My favorite item is the pipe with a small 5mm compass hidden in the mouthpiece. It’s a very impressive way to hide it.”
Sale is February 7th.