Saturday, July 18, 2015

Try, Try Again

Don Presley Auctions of Santa Ana, California is offering up this vampire killing kit, valued at $8000-$12,000, in an upcoming auction.  Curiously, it appears to be the exact same one they were offering last year.  To their considerable credit, no claims of provenance or authenticity are attached to the offering.




I'm definitely not an expert on vintage firearms, but I'm curious why percussion caps would be included for use with a flintlock pistol.


Just look at that beautiful, dark ink.  It looks like it was printed just yesterday.



Ah, the infamous "Blomberg" text.  In beautiful, fully saturated ink.  Just look at those wonderful fonts!  They must have taken a professional printer quite a bit of time to set by hand, although I'm surprised he didn't catch the missing "c" in "effiently".  The mold (?) patterns seem a bit strange as well.  What's really weird is that the colors almost exactly match what it would look like if someone sponged the page with raw umber and burnt umber pigments.  Odd, that.

As a reminder, this is valued at $8000 to $12,000.  With a minimum bid of $4500.


10 comments:

bea said...

Not only fake but not even a very GOOD fake. The powder flask is brand new and you can tell the bottles have a standard wash over them. Plus, not one smudge, tear off wrinkle on labels that I assume are 100 years old? Just grasping a bottle to open it a few times puts allot of wear on paper labels that aren't "sealed" somehow. The forerunner to laminated paper. These things actually fool some people into thinking it's "vintage"?

Anonymous said...

Also i would like to know what kind of vampire hunter is capable of thrusting a stake into the chest of a Vampire without having to use a hammer... Or are you supposed to use that cross?

Propnomicon said...

@ bea

The massive sums shelled out for vampire hunting kits in the past have encouraged a new generation of propmakers to enter the market. Sadly, they lack the dedication to craft that the original creators had.

@ Anonymous

That's why vampires always keep an eye out for guys with huge, Popeye-style forearms.

CoastConFan said...

A European pocket brass boxlock flintlock, with screw off brass barrel, if original and in excellent condition has a value of about $700 if sold loose at a show. Now why would a kit bearing the Blomberg name association have a pistol that would have been heavily obsolete weapon? Flintlocks were obsolete by 1830. The rest of the debris is worth about $60. As for the kit selling for ten times more than the value of components? Only you physiatrist knows for sure.

The Blomberg name attached to these (in)famous kits are a reference to Ernst Freiherr von Blomberg (1821-1903), which is probably due to his 1869 book Die Verwandlung im Prinzipus: Thiere, Maenschen und Ihren Gottlosen Vereinen, covering vampirism and lycantrophy as a clinical phenomena. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freiherr_von_Blomberg_family

For the rest of the story: http://coastconfan.blogspot.com/2014/06/vampire-hunting-kits-debunked-props.html

bob_d said...

Since it seems they're trying to sell the exact kit they failed to sell previously, that tells me the potential buyers have finally wised up when it comes to these things, luckily. It's also good that they're not being overtly fraudulent by claiming it's actually old. It's frustrating to see these kinds of props put up for sale with fake dates.

@ Anonymous: For some reason the stakes are always rather ridiculous with these kits - blunt, fragile, with tiny hammers, absurdly ornate in ways that would prevent firmly holding the thing, etc. I blame modern vampire movies/television shows where the heros are capable of effortlessly sticking random, blunt pieces of wood through vampire ribcages, which are apparently made out of jelly.

gndn said...

So, maybe I shouldn't quit my job to make fake vampire killing kits?...

sl701 said...

Your article made me grin. Very well written.

It's a shame, really, ripping people off like this. I'm no artist and "only" moderately skilled in prop making, but I'm pretty sure I could replicate that kit quite well... which makes the whole affair really, really sad.

Raven said...

He could probably have sold it to the former mayor of Harrisburg PA, back when he was still mayor and spending millions of taxpayer dollars on 10,000 pieces of assorted kitsch (including another vampire hunter kit) -- what a pity the man's (a) no longer mayor, and (b) under indictment on 499 criminal counts for theft, bribery, evidence tampering and other charges.

Meanwhile, that city's been undergoing a financial crisis for some odd reason, filed for bankruptcy, and was put into receivership....

Alysson Rowan said...

Some vampire hunting kits are marvellous creations, some are incredible flights of fancy, and are truely works of art and worth real money for the efforts of the creators ...

Sadly, this one lacks in imagination, forethought, presentation and basic quality. As others note, the finish on this piece is poor and rather amateurish (no insult intended to the non-professional prop-makers here!).

This shoddy kit is certainly over priced at best.


Apropos of the kit, why do we never see modern vampire hunting kits? I'm sure that there must be modern vampire hunters around who have trouble getting dried allium buds, powdered wolfsbane and bottled Holy Water (our local priest does six-packs of commercial bottled water, blessed, at cost).

Likewise, I always favoured a 5 pound club-hammer for driving in the stakes.

Raven said...

"As a reminder, this is valued at $8000 to $12,000. With a minimum bid of $4500."

Here is where cultural and religious differences are truly significant, Props -- and, on one side of the fence, beneficial.

Those of us who were raised with an Eastern Orthodox Christian family background, enough to be taught the premises, are not ever likely to buy such a kit, let alone for such a price. If we have become skeptics, non-believers, of course vampires are non-entities. But if we are fearful of any such malign supernatural being, we have a support system readily at hand.

While the Roman Catholic Church and some of its fellow schismatics (Church of England/Episcopalians, for instance) have limited exorcism support to a rare specialist few, only with the permission of a Bishop, and only after elimination exams...

... in the Eastern Orthodox churches, every priest is expected to act as an exorcist at need, e.g. vampirism (the demonic possession of a corpse). There is a Book of Prayers, translated into each church's language, with three prayers of exorcism by Saint Basil and four by Saint John Chrysostom, for priests to use.

In a broader sense, the Greek Orthodox Diocese in America says, "all Orthodox Christians are exorcists as they struggle against personal sin and social evil."