Kiss of death from the KGB: Soviet spy relics up for auction
Kiss of death from the KGB: Lipstick gun, umbrella with a poison syringe and a fake tooth for storing cyanide among the Soviet spy relics set to sell for up to $365,000 at auction after a KGB espionage museum in New York was forced to close due to Covid
- An incredible collection of Cold War relics, including Soviet disguised weapons, is set to be sold at auction
- Julius Urbaitis, 57, a consultant on the HBO series Chernobyl, amassed the gadgets over a 30-year period
- He put the espionage relics on display at the KGB Espionage Museum in New York he opened back in 2019
- The coronavirus pandemic has now forced the museum to shut down and the KGS spy gadgets to be sold
An incredible collection of Cold War relics, including a number of Soviet disguised weapons, is set to be sold at auction – and is expected to sell for £365,000.
Historian and collector Julius Urbaitis, 57, who worked as the consultant on the HBO series Chernobyl, amassed the remarkable group of gadgets over a 30-year period, procuring almost 400 items in that time.
The items were put on display at a KGB Espionage Museum in New York back in 2019, where Urbaitis was the curator, but the coronavirus pandemic has meant the gallery has had to close down and sell off the collection.
Mr. Urbaitis filled the museum with items from his personal collection, like a listening device used by Adolf Hitler, and artifacts and replicas acquired specifically for the museum and enlisted his daughter, Agne Urbaityte, 30, to serve as co-curator.
An incredible collection of Cold War relics, including a number of Soviet disguised weapons, is set to be sold at auction – and is expected to sell for £365,000
One of the most sought-after items in the collection is a KGB spy umbrella which conceals a poison syringe and has been valued at £3,700
Historian and collector Julius Urbaitis, 57, (pictured holding the ‘Bulgarian Umbrella’) who worked as the consultant on the HBO series Chernobyl, amassed the remarkable group of gadgets over a 30-year period, procuring almost 400 items in that time
Another intriguing item in the collection is a ‘kiss of death’ lipstick gun used by female operatives which has been valued at an estimated £1,500
Weaponised jewellery: This gold ring had a hidden function designed for subterfuge. A KGB agent would wear this ring, and inside the container on top was a tiny camera
One of the most sought-after items in the collection is a KGB spy umbrella which conceals a poison syringe and has been valued at £3,700.
A spring-loaded syringe is hidden within the shaft fires the needle tip from the end of the umbrella when a trigger near the handle is activated.
The umbrella is a reproduction of the one thought to have been deployed to assassinate the Bulgarian defector Georgi Markov in London in 1978 – in that incident, a pellet containing ricin was fired into his leg.
Another intriguing item in the collection is a ‘kiss of death’ lipstick gun used by female operatives which has been valued at an estimated £1,500.
Hidden cameras: This necktie is just one of a host of Soviet gadgets being sold at auction which, at one time, concealed cameras and microphones
Pen is mightier than the sword: Another spy gadget up for auction is this KGB spy pen which doubles as a tiny gun
Nothing out of the ordinary: This seemingly normal packet of cigarettes houses an espionage secret, with a camera hidden inside the box
This seemingly innocent metal cigarette case has plenty of room inside to house a hidden camera, with a strap helping to hold it in place
A number of hidden spy cameras, including one concealed within a necktie are also up for sale at around £2,200.
One of the more expensive items in the collection is a ‘through the wall’ pinhole surveillance camera which allowed photographs to be taken through a small hole drilled into a wall and is valued at around £4,400.
Additionally, a Soviet shoe featuring a special compartment is set to sell for £500 and a lie detector machine could fetch as much as £600.
A KGB ashtray with a hidden microphone bug has an estimate of £900, the same as a fake suicide tooth which has a hidden compartment for storing cyanide.
Licence to drill: Another item up for auction is this ‘needle drill’ kit, which allowed secret agents to drill tiny holes into walls, into which microphones and cameras could then be inserted
Business as usual: The ultimate must-have for any KGB agent, this leather bag held a number of pieces of spying equipment as well as a hidden camera inside the lining of the bag
You may have to squint to see it, but there is also a tiny camera hidden on the surface of this otherwise normal ashtray
It would have been used by captured agents so they could not be tortured and disclose valuable information.
The collection is being sold by Julien’s Auctions in California on February 13, and Matthew Nolan, from the auctioneers, said: ‘They are like something out of a James Bond film, especially the lipstick gun.
‘It is really chilling to think the weapons would have been used by the KGB.
‘It is an incredible collection which will be of great interest to the market.’
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