Bought for $115, a WWII Enigma machine sells for $51,000

Mistaken for an old typewriter and sold at a flea market in Romania for 100 euros, this World War Two Enigma machine recently fetched 45,000 euros at auction. That's about 51,000 U.S. dollars.

Artmark in Bucharest sold the German Wehrmacht Enigma I to an anonymous, online bidder.

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WWII enigma cipher machine

An employee of an auction house presses a key on an working original Enigma cipher machine that is on display at an auction house in Bucharest, Romania, July 11, 2017. 

(Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS)

An Enigma cipher machine is on display among other wartime memorabilia pieces at an auction house in Bucharest, Romania, July 11, 2017. 

(Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS)

An Enigma cipher machine is on display at an auction house in Bucharest, Romania, July 11, 2017.

(Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS)

An Enigma cipher machine is on display among other wartime memorabilia pieces at an auction house in Bucharest, Romania, July 11, 2017. 

(Inquam Photos/Octav Ganea/via REUTERS)

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"The collector bought it from a flea market as a typewriting machine. He's a cryptography professor who dedicated his life to Enigma, so he knew very well what he was buying," said Artmark Collectible Consignment Manager, Cristian Gavrila.

During World War Two, Romania backed Germany until 1944 when it switched sides to support the allies.

Historians believe there could be many other codebreaking Enigma machines in Romania - still yet to be discovered.

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