Monday - 22 September 2014

$10,000 hammer horror…

05 December 2003Written by ATG Reporter

JUST in time for Halloween, a warm-blooded and unidentified mortal paid $10,000 (£5920) for this box of tools designed for vampire killing, pictured right. Sold as part of Sotheby’s New York 19th Century Furniture and Decorative Arts sale on October 30, a label on the kit says: “This box contains the items considered necessary for persons who travel into certain little known countries of Eastern Europe where the populace are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as Vampires.”

The kit included 10 silver bullets, an "efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements", a prayer book, a rosary, vessels for garlic flowers and holy water, a syringe and ll vessels for "Professor Blomberg's new serum". Eleven undeads at one hit, then.

According to Sotheby's, some experts believe that such kits were commonly available to travellers in Eastern Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, while others think they were made in the early 20th century, possibly to cash in on interest in vampires sparked by the 1897 publication of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Poor suckers.

Elaine Whitmire, head of 19th century furniture for Sotheby's NY, said she believes the kit was assembled in the early 20th century and sold to travellers as a souvenir. "My opinion is this is a memento that you bought while you were in Europe," she told the Antiques Trade Gazette. "I doubt it was cheap to buy."

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