Vintage spy gadgets go under hammer

A watch for sale
Image caption The watch has a tiny, hidden microphone for a spy to secretly record conversations

A vintage collection of secret service gadgets including a dagger disguised as a pen and a watch with a hidden microphone are to go on sale.

The items - designed for British spies and troops caught behind enemy lines - date from World War Two onwards.

The anonymous seller claims he was never a spy himself, simply a historian with a passion for anything from WW2.

The objects are expected to fetch a total of thousands of pounds when they are sold at auction in Kent on Tuesday.

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Media captionThis fountain pen concealed a dagger and could be worth up to £500

The James Bond-style collection of sinister yet ingenious items includes a badge which unscrews to reveal a compass, which is expected to fetch up to £120.

There is also a key with a secret compartment for hiding things such as cyanide pills, which could be worth up to £200.

Matthew Tredwin of C&T Auctioneers said: "Most people that buy this stuff are historians who want to keep the story of these people alive."

The vendor said he would be "over the moon if they fetched the estimates placed on them".

But he added: "Money is not the concern. I would like to think they will go to a collector who will cherish them as much as I have over the years."

"I have had the pleasure of owning them and feel it is time that another collector or museum has the opportunity," he added.

Image caption The collection includes a button with a compass inside and a key with a secret compartment

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