KGB Spy Gadgets From The Cold War Era Go On Auction

If you're an espionage enthusiast, you're in for a wild ride with over 400 items from secret government vaults.
Irmak Bayrakdar
“Kiss of Death”, the lipstick gun given to female KGB spies in the 60s.Joyofmuseums/Wikimedia Commons

US-based Julien’s Auctions announced a brand new auction collection featuring Cold War-era weapons, espionage items, and Soviet relics, namely "The Cold War Relics Featuring the KGB Espionage Museum Collection".

The collection will be on display on February 13, 2021, and according to the statement of the auction house, there will be over 400 items for sale starting from mid-January to February 13.

World's most comprehensive auction with original KGB items

Julien’s Auctions stated the auction will be the “world's first and most comprehensive auction event offering some of the rarest and most important artifacts from the U.S., Soviet Union, and Cuba during the Cold War era ever to be assembled and offered at auction.”


The President/CEO of Julien's Auctions Darren Julien announced that "Julien's Auctions is proud to present the largest collection of rare and important artifacts from Cold War-era history ever to be assembled at auction," and also added that these items were taken from secret archives and vaults from the U.S., Russia, and Cuba. 

KGB Spy Gadgets From The Cold War Era Go On Auction
The camera purse used to secretly record people. Source: KGB Espionage Museum

The auction items are mainly from the KGB Espionage Museum collection but the collection also includes items from the U.S.-Soviet Cold War-era and Cuba's Revolution era. Julien added that "these stunning objects offer a fascinating look at the geopolitical, economic, and cultural upheaval of that time, whose impact resonates more than ever in this election year."

KGB Spy Gadgets From The Cold War Era Go On Auction
The Soviet version of the famous Enigma machine known as "the Fialka". Source: KGB Espionage Museum

Spy essentials: lipstick guns, syringe umbrellas, and purses with hidden cameras

Some of the highlights from the auction include: a gun concealed as a lipstick, a “bug” used to listen to hotel rooms from the 60s, the Soviet Enigma known as “the Fialka”, a poisonous syringe umbrella  also known as the Bulgarian Umbrella , a purse with a hidden camera and shutter, and even Che Guevara's high school report card. There are also operation cameras, morse-code machines, radars, and official government documents. 

KGB Spy Gadgets From The Cold War Era Go On Auction
A replica of the deadly syringe umbrella, also known as Bulgarian Umbrella. Source: KGB Espionage Museum

The collection— most of which was once displayed at NYC's KGB Espionage Museum, which has been temporarily closed due to COVID-19  will be shared with the public for the first time at an auction. The auction will be the brainchild of Julius Urbaitis, historian, collector, and museum curator who has also been the consultant for the popular HBO series, Chernobyl.

If you're a Cold War and/or espionage enthusiast, you can go ahead and attend the auction at Julien's Auctions which is located in Beverly Hills, California, or live on Just make sure to save the dates and get ready for some spy action!

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