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Chinese Dagger

  • Dated: 19th century
  • Measurements: overall length 40 cm

The dagger has a straight, single-edged blade with rectangular mark featuring inscriptions in Chinese and a small groove at the back. The iron grip is engraved with floral motifs and decorated with embossed silver depicting a dragon at the pommel and wire binding at the centre of the grip. At the base the dagger has a cabochon coral. The iron scabbard has silver mounts, embossed and engraved with dragons, animals and floral motifs and at the centre a cabochon decorations.

Source: Copyright © 2014 Czerny’s International Auction House S.R.L.


For the past three years, each January there is a bizarre, online puzzle game that is hosted by someone who calls themselves “3301.” Their symbol is a cicada. The complex puzzles draw on elements of cryptography, mathematics, literature, hidden messages, data security, and philosophy. Physical clues appear in places as diverse as Poland, Hawaii, Spain, Australia, and Korea. 3301 claims that its puzzles attempt to find “intelligent individuals.” They don’t say why.

Many believe these nearly impossible puzzles are a recruitment vehicle for organizations like the CIA or MI6.



The Euphonia, a mid-19th century gadget that could simulate human speech by pumping bellows-fed air over an artificial tongue set in a chamber of weird plates and valves. It had a woman’s face and coils of hair in ringlets, and spoke in a “weird, ghostly monotone.

By pumping air with the bellows and manipulating a series of plates, chambers, and other apparatus, including an artificial tongue, the operator could make it speak any European language. It was even able to sing the anthem God Save the Queen. The Euphonia was invented in 1845 by Joseph Faber, a German immigrant. A little known fact is that this machine greatly influenced the invention of the telephone.

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