Ian Fleming’s cufflinks featuring 007-style secret code sell for more than £4,000 at auction
- Ian Fleming’s cufflinks sold at auction for more than £4,000 to unknown bidder
- 007 creator wore cultured pearl set to Dr No post-film screening party in 1962
- Bond author’s cufflinks inscribed with secret code ‘WUS’, ‘SIL’, ‘UDH’ and ‘NUF’
A pair of cufflinks owned by James Bond author Ian Fleming which feature a spy-like secret code have sold at auction for more than £4,000.
The 007 creator wore the cultured pearl set to the Dr No post-film screening party in 1962.
The backs of the cufflinks are inscribed with the letters ‘WUS’, ‘SIL’, ‘UDH’ and ‘NUF’ – believed to represent a so-far unsolved secret message.
They were set to fetch £800 at auction but sold for £4,400 to an unknown bidder at Mallams auctioneers in Oxford.
Ian Fleming (pictured) wore the cultured pearl set to the Dr No post-film screening party in 1962
The backs of the cufflinks are inscribed with the letters ‘WUS’, ‘SIL’, ‘UDH’ and ‘NUF’ – believed to represent a so-far unsolved secret message
They were set to fetch £800 at auction but sold for £4,400 to an unknown bidder at Mallams auctioneers in Oxford
Its listing read: ‘Surely a perfect code-breaking mission for any aspiring spies out there.’
Bond was introduced in the 1952 novel Casino Royale and so captured the public’s imagination.
These circular cufflinks, which come to Mallams by family descent, are sure to prove popular with James Bond enthusiasts and carry an estimate of £800-£1,200.’
During his service in the Naval Intelligence Division, Fleming drew up a plan to capture a German Enigma codebook by hijacking a Nazi rescue boat, according to an article published in the Literary James Bond Magazine.
The plan – which he laid out in a memo to the Director of Naval Intelligence on September 12 1940 – involved crashing a captured German plane into the Channel, thereby attracting a Nazi recue boat to the scene, which Fleming hoped would have a book onboard with the key to cracking the Enigma code.
Fleming’s code-cracking plan, named ‘Operation Ruthless’, was ultimately never carried out due to logistical issues with it – for example, the ‘fake’ German bomber Fleming wanted to crash into the Channel would have floated, putting the disguised crew inside the Trojan horse at high risk of being detected before they could hijack the German rescue boat that was scrambled to save them.
In total, Fleming wrote 14 Bond books which have sold over 100million copies worldwide. He died in 1964.
Who was James Bond author Ian Fleming?
Ian Lancaster Fleming was born into a well-off family with connections to the merchant bank Robert Fleming & Co.
His father, an MP for Henley, died in 1917 during World War One.
Fleming’s work with Britain’s Naval Intelligence Division during World War Two – combined with his career as a journalist – formed the basis for his Bond novels.
He wrote Casino Royale, the first book in the series, in 1952. Its huge success sent demand skyrocketing and three print runs had to be commissioned.
Between 1953 and 1966, he wrote 11 novels and two short story collections.
In total, 100 million copies of the Bond novels were sold worldwide and they remain hugely popular today.
Fleming was married to Ann Charteris – who he met while she was still married to the second Viscount Rothermere – and the pair had a son called Casper.
Fleming had a heart attack on August 11, 1964 and died the following day – Caspar’s 12th birthday – aged just 56.
Casper killed himself at the age of just 23 on October 2, 1975.
Ann died on July 12, 1981 and all three are buried together in St James’ Church in Sevenhampton.