A Rare and Unusual Vampire Slaying Kit goes up for auction on June 22, 2012, at Tennants Auctioneers:
[C]omprising a percussion cap pistol with octagonal steel barrel, foliate etched box lock and walnut bag butt, a steel bullet mould, a mallet and four oak stakes, a set of Rosary beads, three glass bottles (two labelled Holy Water and Holy Earth), a Book of Common Prayer dated 1857, all contained in a blue velvet lined mahogany casket with fitted lift-out tray, the inner cover set with a gilt metal and mahogany crucifix, the silver lock escutcheon in the form of a cross, 31cm by 23cm by 13cm
The BBC also notes the following details:
As well as the weaponry, the box holds a copy of the Book of Common Prayer from 1851 and a handwritten extract from the Bible which quotes Luke 19:27.
It reads: “But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.”
Prior to the kit being listed at the auction site, Oonagh Drage from Tennants Auctioneers said, “I’m not sure who will buy it as we are yet to put it on the internet. I know there are quite a few Americans who are interested in this kind of thing.”
Yup, we American are all about the vampire lore.
Drage credits Bram Stoker’s Dracula for, perhaps, inspiring such kits. But collectors today have a much longer line to whet their fantasies — and wet their pants. *wink* From Virginia Dare to the more recent Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter, we even love to incorporate vampires into our American history.
Because of that, one must always consider the faking of such kits by assembling period items in a period box. I’m not in any position to inspect this kit, and I’m not disparaging its authenticity; but I’ve written about these vampire kits before and so must caution collectors about such general issues in this area of collecting.
Drage estimates this antique vampire killing kit to sell between $1800 and $3000; previous sets have sold for close to $15,000. Because we Americans love our vampire collectibles!
If you can’t make it to Leyburn, North Yorkshire, to bid, you can still bid on the 19th century vampire slaying kit; there’s live internet bidding on this item, and others, in Arms, Armour, Militaria & Ethnographica Auction at Tennants.