Saturday, May 3, 2014

Rosewood and Ebony Vampire Killing Kit

This vampire killing kit comes to us via the February 29, 2012 "Fine and Decorative Arts Auction" at Dallas Auction Gallery. It's a beautiful piece of work that incorporates a goodly amount of custom fabrication and excellent component selection. From the auction description:

Cased vampire killing kit, in a rosewood and ebony case with inlaid silver stringing and mother-of-pearl inlaid plaque. Contents include a black powder percussion 2-barrel pistol, a powder horn and bullet mold, bone handled dagger with crucifix, three small crucifixes, mallet and two wooden stakes, book of common prayer, two small framed portraits of Jesus, holy water and four glass vials with crystals. 4"H x 16"W x 9.75"D, Circa - 19th C.

Circa 19th century? Really? Then I read the auction terms.

TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF SALE 1. All items are sold "AS IS, WHERE IS" with all faults. There are no warranties or representations of merchantability, of fitness, nor of any other kind, express or implied. All items are available for your examination prior to bidding. Written and oral descriptions are our opinions and should in no way be construed as a guarantee of any kind as to authenticity, age, condition, materials or any other feature of items being sold.

I suppose that lets them off the hook, but I'd still prefer a more creatively worded description that doesn't assert a definitive provenance. Remember kids, all vampire hunting kits are fake. They're wonderful examples of artistry and craftsmanship, but every single one dates from the modern era.

My apologies for the wall o' pics. One never knows when the auction catalog will be pulled down and I like to keep a record of notable kits. 


Anonymous said...

The description doesn't say whether the period map of Austria-Hungary comes with the kit. It's a neat little extra, but I'm having a hard time imagining a scenario in which it would be useful. If you're in the midst of a vampire hunt and you suddenly need to double-check what part of the country you're in, you have probably not done sufficient research.

"four glass vials with crystals"-- I presume that the white crystals are rock salt, since salt is an apotropaic in some vampire folklore. But I wonder what the gold-looking crystals are supposed to represent?

Also: eight thousand bucks? Is this a typical return for a kit of this general quality?

Propnomicon said...

@ Anonymous

I'm just guessing, but I think the first vial is salt, the second anointing oil, the third incense, and the fourth...uh..more salt? Heh.

$8K seems about right for a kit like this. There's some nice custom work in the supplies, but the box itself was pretty clearly repurporsed.

Barry John said...

Those little felt cloth blocks (I guess that's what they are?)look kinda weird. Almost rushed together. Suppose that's rich from someone who hasn't made one but...

CoastConFan said...

A thousand for the components (presuming you don't have a good source) and another thousand for the work. That's about right for a nice kit -- $2,000, but it's not really exceptional. $8k is sucker bait. Gentlemen, this way to the Egress.

Also why do you need a pistol for hunting vampires anyway. My understanding is that physical weapons only hurt them under specific circumstances.

damanoid said...

CoastConFan: No doubt you're supposed to use the pistol on the vampire's Renfield ghouls.

But first you distract them by asking if they can direct you to the Imperial Vienna Edible Insect Museum and Kitten Emporium on your map of Austria-Hungary.

Anonymous said...

How you can tell it's fake? By fake I mean not from the 19th century (I don't believe in vampires). Everything looks pretty old. Not denying it, just want to know if it can be proven or disproven.

Propnomicon said...

@ Anonymous

There isn't a single documented vampire killing kit from the 19th century in existence.