Saturday, June 14, 2014

The Stevens Vampire Killing Kit

Another vampire killing kit recovered from an online auction site. What's interesting about this one is that it has a number of features I've seen repeated in other kits, in particular the distinctive visual style of the labels and contents list and the type of percussion pistol. That leads me to believe this and similar kits are the work of a single artist working somewhere in the Atlanta area.

Take note of the sharpness of the graphics, pointing to their origin on a modern desktop printer.  The color mismatch between the velvet in the upper tray (red) and the lower (green) seems like a significant oversight.


Anonymous said...

Not a bad kit but he really should use a spellchecker to be more effient apparantly ;)

CoastConFan said...

The basic container of the kit appears to be an old (circa 1900) cutlery box remodeled. It’s actually quite nice at first glance. The pistol is a typical percussion box lock with a bag butt, popular in Europe from the 1840s onward. My confusion centers around why would an obsolete gun be in a supposed 1890s assemblage and second, why even have a gun? Vampire are notorious for being immune to physical attack.

The Vampire Killing Kit main label is clearly a modern piece of work and the artist certainly had no idea about Victorian aesthetics. For that matter the bottle labels are clearly wrong for the period. Apparently, this artist didn’t have access to the internet and bottle collecting sites which show period labels. It’s just lazy.

Some components are quite crude such as the cross. This is a slammed together piece, with original components, which sadly are not needed in a vampire kit – e.g. the gun and loading set. I suppose the idea was to wow you with an original gun. The whole thing is worth the value of the components plus the little labor put into the box. Let’s say about $1,000.

Otherwise it’s a pretty set, if you don’t think too hard. Here is a pretty good site with a nice overview of the so called Blomberg kits:

There was a Blomberg family and the vampire references seem to cite Ernst Freiherr von Blombeg (1821-1903) with these kits, but frankly, he was chosen is because of his 1869 book dealing with clinical lycanthropes and clinical vampirism. Note the use of the word, “clinical” as it’s pretty important.

@ Propnomicon Here is an outstanding post about debunking vampire kits, this is a must-read in unraveling all these fake kits circulating:

Brian O'Connell said... of the less impressive vampire kits.

Stefan said...

It's a nice enough kit I suppose, but does it not feel a little lackluster? There's a lot of pistol related stuff, but not enough to deem it a complete pistol box.
I've often wondered why so many makers include a bullet mould, but no means of actually casting the bullets. My guess is it's just a filler piece.