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Wanna Pick up a Lipstick Gun Used by the KGB? Here's How

Wanna Pick up a Lipstick Gun Used by the KGB? Here's How
The Cold War was a period of geopolitical tension between the Soviet Union and the United States and their respective allies, Photo Credit: Shutterstock.com

A lipstick gun, a rare Soviet version of the Enigma code cipher machine, and other spy relics of the Cold War era go on sale as the KGB Museum closes down

OT Staff
October 31 , 2020
06 Min Read
Wanna play Bond? This may be your chance. 
 
The KGB Espionage Museum in Manhattan (yes, there's one, started by a Lithuanian collector) which opened less than two years ago is closing permanently as the pandemic has made its operations unsustainable. And most of its collection is up for sale at an auction.  
 
 
American auction house Julien's will sell around 400 lots online, and then in person, from mid January to February 13, 2021.
 
The items going up for auction for the first time look a lot like something Q may have designed for James Bond. There's a gun designed to look like a tube of lipstick called the “Deadly Kiss,” a single-shot one that the museum claims was specifically designed for female spies. Then there's a purse with a hidden camera, a hotel room listening device used by Soviet intelligence during the Cold War, and much more.
 
 
Estimates for the items range from a few hundred dollars to USD 12,000, the top estimate for a rare Soviet version of the Enigma code cipher machine known as the Fialka.
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Julien's Auctions Official (@juliens_auctions) on Oct 28, 2020 at 2:09pm PDT

 
A steel door from a former KGB prison hospital is estimated at USD 500 to USD 700, while a stone bust of Vladimir Lenin is expected to fetch between USD 5,000 to USD 7,000.
 
Julien's is also putting under the hammer other memorabilia from the Cold War, including a high school report card for Che Guevara, a signed 1958 letter from Fidel Castro discussing plans to take Havana, and items related to the US-Soviet space race. 
 
The museum charts the evolution of the Soviet secret police from the 1917, and claims to be the only one of its kind. Among the experiential stuff at the place was a replica of a psychiatric hospital torture chair, a phone to receive messages from former enemies like Nikita Khrushchev, straitjackets and espionage devices that defined the Cold War. The exhibits at the museum explained how Soviet intelligence agents pulled off their surveillance, from embedding recording devices in rings, cuff links and dishes to hiding cameras in belt buckles.
 
Check out the museum site here.

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