lefttop righttop
leftborder rightborder
leftborder
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
November 01, 2014, 07:39:01 AM

Login with username, password and session length
Members
Total Members: 4967
Latest: Smw
Stats
Total Posts: 868771
Total Topics: 69551
Online Today: 315
Online Ever: 527
(July 06, 2014, 08:41:27 PM)
Users Online
Users: 19
Guests: 195
Total: 214
Recent
[Today at 07:30:46 AM]

[Today at 05:23:21 AM]

[Today at 05:01:55 AM]

[Today at 04:40:31 AM]

[Today at 04:28:47 AM]

[Today at 04:03:58 AM]

[Today at 03:59:44 AM]

[Today at 03:42:56 AM]

[Today at 03:02:53 AM]

[Today at 02:57:43 AM]
Pages: [1] 2   Go Down
Author Topic: Victorian vampire-slaying kit up for auction in Yorkshire  (Read 1928 times)
0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.
Van-Helsing
mastermind



(A.K.A. Doctor Warlock)

Offline Offline

Age: 152
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 1118


WWW
« on: June 08, 2012, 10:30:16 PM »

Though not about Gaming, I thought that this fits in this section perfectly! It could be a Victorian LARP Prop LoL!



Quote
A Victorian vampire-slaying kit is expected to fetch £2,000 at an auction in North Yorkshire.

The 19th Century box contains a crucifix, pistol, wooden stakes and mallet, as well as glass bottles containing holy water, holy earth and garlic paste.

The box was left to a Yorkshire woman in her uncle's will.

Oonagh Drage of Tennants Auctioneers in Leyburn, North Yorkshire, said she had not seen anything like it before.

Ms Drage said the kit was probably made in the late 1800s and was possibly inspired by the popularity of Bram Stoker's 1897 novel Dracula.

"It's probably a novelty thing. It's playing to people's superstitions."

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."

The box goes on auction later this month.

I wish I was silly rich with 2k spare!

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-york-north-yorkshire-18367300
« Last Edit: June 08, 2012, 11:52:25 PM by Van-Helsing » Logged


\"The world is indeed comic, but the joke is on mankind\" ~ H. P. Lovecraft
Mister Rab
Supporting Adventurer
mad scientist
*


in plumbum veritas

Offline Offline

Age: 35
Location: Bedford, England
Posts: 930


WWW
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2012, 11:08:06 PM »

I saw this (or one like it) on facebook a couple of months back. Looks like fun, doesn't it?
Logged

2013 Painted Tally:    9

Try Goblinquest, my "parent & child" or "beer & pretzels" dungeoncrawl game
Red Orc
Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius
*


Baffled but happy

Offline Offline

Posts: 2385


WWW
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2012, 11:13:19 PM »

Aye, I saw this earlier on Yahoo - looks amazing, doesn't it? Cool looking pistol, and I love the idea of having bits of Bible quotations tucked inside. It's like something from 'Van Helsing'.

I mean, 'Van Helsing' the movie, not Van Helsing the respected LAF poster...
Logged

Van-Helsing
mastermind



(A.K.A. Doctor Warlock)

Offline Offline

Age: 152
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 1118


WWW
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2012, 11:51:18 PM »

 Cheesy

I would SERIOUSLY be bidding on this If I could afford too - it would be SO COOL to own a Slayers Kit!
Logged
Melnibonean
mastermind



Fast and bulbous...

Offline Offline

Location: Melbourne
Posts: 1123


« Reply #4 on: June 09, 2012, 10:52:19 AM »

Here in Melbourne, Victoria - the police have a vampire hunting kit in the police museum. They confiscated it from shomewhere (I can't recall). It looks very similar. It has a flintlock (or percussion) cap, pistol, silver bullets and holy water, stakes, bible... The works.
Logged

Well, that should stop Rocket Morton from getting all the girls.
Steve F
Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius
*



Offline Offline

Location: At the end of a wall (UK)
Posts: 2488


« Reply #5 on: June 09, 2012, 02:49:02 PM »

I'd be very sceptical about the authenticity of this.  As the report quoted in the OP points out, a lot of the specific ideas about killing vampires embodied in this kit were only drawn together by Dracula in 1897, though they had all been kicking around beforehand in various bits of fiction and ethnography.  That does leave much of the 19th century available to make it.

Mind you, even if the kit as a whole is a later fake, it might still be valuable - if the box is mahogany, the crucifix silver, the pistol authentic and so on.
Logged
Sterling Moose
Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius
*



Offline Offline

Age: 51
Location: Near London SW Ontario.
Posts: 2371


« Reply #6 on: June 09, 2012, 02:49:23 PM »

As I PM'd chairface and thunderchicken, if 3 of us banded together to buy it it would only cost 666 quid each!!
Logged

What is the difference between mechanical engineers and civil engineers?
Mechanical engineers build weapons and civil engineers build targets.
Van-Helsing
mastermind



(A.K.A. Doctor Warlock)

Offline Offline

Age: 152
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 1118


WWW
« Reply #7 on: June 09, 2012, 02:51:41 PM »

Here in Melbourne, Victoria - the police have a vampire hunting kit in the police museum. They confiscated it from shomewhere (I can't recall). It looks very similar. It has a flintlock (or percussion) cap, pistol, silver bullets and holy water, stakes, bible... The works.

Superb!
Logged
Van-Helsing
mastermind



(A.K.A. Doctor Warlock)

Offline Offline

Age: 152
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 1118


WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 09, 2012, 03:27:27 PM »

I'd be very sceptical about the authenticity of this.  As the report quoted in the OP points out, a lot of the specific ideas about killing vampires embodied in this kit were only drawn together by Dracula in 1897, though they had all been kicking around beforehand in various bits of fiction and ethnography.  That does leave much of the 19th century available to make it.

Mind you, even if the kit as a whole is a later fake, it might still be valuable - if the box is mahogany, the crucifix silver, the pistol authentic and so on.

"Professional" or semi-professional vampire hunters historically played some part in the vampire beliefs of the Balkans (especially in Bulgarian, Serbian, and Romani folk beliefs) as early as the 1300's. At some point in the Middle Ages the Church in its wisdom recognised the existence of vampires, recasting them from characters in pagan folklore into creatures of the Devil.  The belief in transubstantiation was already in place, that is, that in partaking of the bread and wine of the mass one was literally consuming the body and blood of Christ.  To people who held this belief, there was little difficulty in believing also in its Satanic mirror image; the drinking of blood by vampires.  This also helped promote the idea that vampires couldn't be effectively dealt with without the help of the Church.

In Bulgarian, the terms used to designate them included glog (lit. "hawthorn", the species of wood used for the stake), vampirdzhiya, vampirar, dzhadazhiya, svetocher etc.

"Hunters" were usually either born on Saturday (then called Sabbatarians or sābotnichav) or were the offspring of a vampire and a woman (typically his widow), and called a "Dhampir" (yes - it's not a made up Fiction word) in Romani (vampirović in Serbian).

It was also believed that someone born on a Saturday could see a vampire when it was otherwise concealed (invisible, or glamoured to look normal) and sometimes other supernatural entities as well.In Croatian and Slovenian legends, the villages had their own vampire hunters that were called kresniks, whose spirits were able to turn into animals at night to fight off the vampire or kudlak.

In some traditions, the killing of vampires could ONLY be performed by such hunters. Aside from the well-known manners of execution (staking, burning, decapitation, etc.) that were normally entrusted to them, the hunters were also capable of using other methods such as enticing the invisible creature with music and then shooting it, or throwing its hat or head-cloth into the water and telling it to go fetch it (which caused it to drown - I know, weird right).

Of course when you reach the early 18th Century, the wonderfully superstitious Victorian British had embraced some of these beliefs as their own - the idea of Vampire Hunters, Hawthorn bushes round estates, Staking, Burning, immersing a Vampire in fresh running water, and (of course) decapitation.

A major vampire scare shook Eastern Europe in the eighteenth century.  It was precipitated by an outbreak of vampire attacks in Eastern Prussia in 1721 and in the Austro-Hungarian Empire from 1725-1734.  The most infamous cases were those of Arnold Paole and Peter Plogojowitz.  Paole, an ex-soldier turned farmer who had been attacked by a vampire years before, died while haying.  After his death people began dying and it was widely believed that Paole had returned to prey on the neighbors.  The Plogojowitz tale was that he had died at 62 but returned to ask his son for food a few times after his death.  When the son refused, he was found dead the next day.  Not content to stop there, Plogojowitz again returned to attack some neighbors who died from loss of blood.  During the 1700s even some government officials had taken up hunting and staking.  The vampire panics did goad Western scholars to take a serious look at the subject of vampires.

These two incidents were extremely well documented.  The cases and the bodies were examined by government officials.  Reports were written and books were published afterwards of the Paole case and distributed around Europe.  The controversy raged for a generation.  The problem was exacerbated by an epidemic of, mainly rural vampire attacks.  People were digging up bodies all over the place.  Some scholars said vampires didn't exist - they attributed reports to premature burial, or to rabies which causes thirst.

However, Dom Augustine Calmet, a well respected French theologian and scholar, put together a carefully thought out treatise in 1746 which said vampires did exist.  This had considerable influence on other scholars at the time.  Eventually, Austrian Empress Marie Theresa sent her personal physician to investigate.  He said vampires didn't exist and the Empress passed laws prohibiting the opening of graves and desecration of bodies, quelling the vampire epidemics.

A direct relationship can be traced between these much publicised reports and England's current vampire myths.  It was actually an English translation of a German report on the Arnold Paole vampire staking in Serbia that first brought the word vampire into the English language in 1732.  

So it's actually MORE than possible whoever put this Kit together did so some time before Bram Stoker later consolidated many of these myths and folklore beliefs with the publication of Dracula in 1897.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 03:31:50 PM by Van-Helsing » Logged
Steve F
Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius
*



Offline Offline

Location: At the end of a wall (UK)
Posts: 2488


« Reply #9 on: June 09, 2012, 04:47:22 PM »

Yes, I'm aware of all that.  But, to take one example, Balkan folklore belief was that the flowers of the garlic plant repelled vampires.  If the "garlic paste" is from garlic bulbs instead, then it is post-1897 (and probably draws on the 1920s stage play).

There is no folklore tradition of vampires in the British Isles at all: it is entirely literary, deriving, as you say, from 18th century travellers' tales, and then through a series of well known literary works: Polidori's The Vampyre of 1819, initially attributed to Byron, and the stage plays derived from it, LeFanu's Carmilla, the anonymous Varney the Vampire and so on.  Before Dracula, none of these brought together all the items in this kit.

On the other hand, there are folkloric tools that do not appear in Dracula, and which do not appear in this kit, either: no packet of seeds to place in the grave to keep the vampire busy, for example.

I don't think that there are any recorded cases of anyone in the British Isles regarding the existence of vampires as anything but a literary trope or an amusing example of peasant superstitions in other countries until Montague Summers in the 1930s.  But then, he believed (or pretended to) that the Malleus Maleficorum was a reliable guide to genuine witchcraft practices too!

So my money (if I had any) would still be on this being a novelty assembled during one of the brief phases of particular popularity of vampire fiction, possibly just after 1897, but more equally possibly 30 or 40 years later.

While I'm pouring cold water on things, I'd suggest that the Melbourne kit is even more likely by be a later period novelty.  Silver bullets were invented by Curt Siodmak for the screenplay of The Wolf Man (1941).  He also invented the whole "full moon" thing for werewolves, but that's another matter.
Logged
Van-Helsing
mastermind



(A.K.A. Doctor Warlock)

Offline Offline

Age: 152
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 1118


WWW
« Reply #10 on: June 09, 2012, 05:05:18 PM »

You couldn't be more wrong - In Romania in the late 1700's Garlic was ground into a paste and either worn (kinda like a perfume) or smeared on the threshold.

There is lots of English Vampire lore - one such tale is told of Berwick, which has became known as the 'Vampire of Berwick' (around 1732) although the vampire in this case bears no resemblance to the modern concept. The vampire was the ghost of a local wealthy man with a bad reputation who had died sinful, probably of the plague, which periodically flared in the towns and villages of Britain in the Middle Ages. He was buried in un-consecrated ground, and was soon spotted roaming the town as a pale phantom, accompanied by a pack of spectral hounds. The townsfolk became so alarmed at the disease-spreading spectre, that a small group of volunteers were directed to exhume the body, cut it into pieces and then burn it, which we can assume put the peoples minds at rest. At Melrose Abbey in Scotland another corpse of a nightwalker, who had been a priest with a penchant for hunting was burned to stop his nocturnal meanderings.

Other British folklore also has creatures that are very vampire like: In Highland tradition some of the remote glens were thought to be haunted by a particularly dangerous female spirit called the Boabhan Sith (A similar root to the Banshee of Ireland). One story tells how a group of young men were attacked while staying at a remote bothan, the similarity with this and the image of a more modern vampire being obvious.

There is yet another famous story of the Croglin Vampire, collected by Augustus Hare in the 19th century at a wedding party. There is a distinct possibility that the story was fabricated at the time to impress the guests, but recent research suggests that the story may be older.

OK it's all just conjecture - but there's far more to support it than contradict it.
« Last Edit: June 09, 2012, 05:09:28 PM by Van-Helsing » Logged
Steve F
Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius
*



Offline Offline

Location: At the end of a wall (UK)
Posts: 2488


« Reply #11 on: June 09, 2012, 05:27:35 PM »

As you point out, none of those British "vampires" are vampires.  They are mostly revenants and ghosts, gathered up by Summers to fill out his rather encyclopedic books (which have been thoroughly plundered ever since by screenwriters, journalists and lazy anthologists like Peter Haining, who have given them the names you quote).

Interesting info about garlic paste.  I think that it's new to me, but I sold most of my folklore books a few months ago, so it may have been in one of them and I'd forgotten.  Flowers certainly were used too, though.
Logged
Van-Helsing
mastermind



(A.K.A. Doctor Warlock)

Offline Offline

Age: 152
Location: West Midlands, UK
Posts: 1118


WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 09, 2012, 05:36:12 PM »

In ACTUALLY NO VAMPIRE in original Lore follows the "Stoker Template" at all - they were more like blood thirsty Zombies at night, only looking human (and having no powers) during the day.

Though they are often characterised as looking "plump and fresh" whilst lying in their graves - only taking on their gory dripping visage when going out to feed.

I'm at an advantage really, having studied comparative mythology - my collection of books goes far beyond the "coffee table" type of book when it comes to mythology.
Logged
robh
Supporting Adventurer
mad scientist
*



Offline Offline

Location: International shipping applies
Posts: 992


« Reply #13 on: June 09, 2012, 05:40:44 PM »

@Van Helsing
Interesting summary you came up with of the Bulgarian folklore. Do you have a recommended English Language reference that gives a good overview and some more details? Exactly the sort of book I am looking for to move "Witchfinder General" into the Balkans.
Logged
Steve F
Supporting Adventurer
scatterbrained genius
*



Offline Offline

Location: At the end of a wall (UK)
Posts: 2488


« Reply #14 on: June 09, 2012, 05:41:32 PM »

In ACTUALLY NO VAMPIRE in original Lore follows the "Stoker Template" at all - they were more like blood thirsty Zombies at night, only looking human (and having no powers) during the day.

Whereas this kit does - which was precisely my point in the first place!
Logged
Pages: [1] 2   Go Up
 
Jump to:  

Related Topics
Subject Started by Replies Views Last post
No 11 Xacto Blade of Slaying (+20) Workbench Hammers 2 1052 Last post September 04, 2007, 01:58:47 AM
by xeoran
Spare WestWind Vampire Wars and Victorian civilians for sale Archiv Malamute 5 1432 Last post October 25, 2007, 02:18:45 PM
by Malamute
Victorian buildings and Pulp Flying cars on auction Archiv Skrapwelder 1 1082 Last post January 14, 2008, 01:51:48 AM
by Heldrak
Victorian-era Wargame at auction Archive Open Talk answer_is_42 3 577 Last post January 18, 2011, 04:43:18 PM
by Mister Rab
Victorian Steampunk Vampire Hunters + Rebel Generals on Ebay Archiv THE CID 5 1164 Last post March 05, 2011, 10:08:42 PM
by Prof.Witchheimer
rightborder
leftborder




Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2013, Simple Machines
TinyPortal v0.9.8 © Bloc
Waltz design by IchBin
Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
leftbottomborder   rightbottomborder