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Article: The Mysterious Vampire-Killing Kit That Sparked An International Bidding War

The Mysterious Vampire-Killing Kit That Sparked An International Bidding War - DSF Antique Jewelry

The Mysterious Vampire-Killing Kit That Sparked An International Bidding War

An ancient vampire-killing kit, once owned by a British aristocrat, sparked an international bidding war before being sold for six times the original estimate.

The late 19th-century mysterious box sold for £13,000 (around 15,000 dollars), containing objects reputed to ward off vampires, belonged to Lord William Malcolm Hailey (1872-1969), former administrator of British India, Hansons Auctioneers said in a press release.   

Initially estimated at £2,000-£3,000, the vampire-killing kit, was bought by a private UK buyer after a fierce bidding competition. The total price paid was £16,900 (approx. 20.000 dollars).  

Interest in this item ahead of the auction was intense and it attracted strong advance bids. Nevertheless, the result exceeded all expectations. Bids came in from all over the world including France, America, and Canada. Objects like this fascinate collectors and this one had a particularly interesting provenance.

"It originally belonged to Lord Hailey, a British peer and former administrator of British India. Whether through fear or fascination, it’s interesting to know a member of the highest aristocratic social order, a man with a place in the House of Lords, acquired this item. It reminds us that the vampire myth affects people from all walks of life," said Charles Hanson, owner of the auction house. 
What Does The Vampire-Killing Kit Contain?

The lockable box contains essential items needed to ward off bloodthirsty vampires, including two brass crucifixes on the lid which act as a sliding secret locking device. Inside are more crucifixes, holy water, a wooden mallet, stake,  rosary beads, a Gothic Bible, brass candlesticks, assorted pistols, and a brass powder flask. 
Mysterious Vampire-Killing Kit

The mysterious box, which had Lord Hailey’s initials, also contained Metropolitan police paperwork from the period.

"William Malcolm Hailey, 1st Baron Hailey (1872-1969) was recognized for his intellect. He was educated at Corpus Christi College, Oxford. He was Governor of Punjab from 1924 to 1928 and Governor of the United Provinces from 1928 to 1934. And yet, amid his illustrious career, he was drawn to this vampire-slaying kit. That’s understandable. These objects are both curious and intriguing."
The Mysterious Vampire-Killing Kit

"Belief in vampires, undead creatures said to need human blood to survive, goes back hundreds of years and persists in some parts of the world today. They are enshrined in European folklore. The publication of John Polidori’s The Vampyre in 1819 had a major impact and that was followed by Bram Stoker’s 1897 classic Dracula.

The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious and historical accounts suggested the need for particular methods and tools. Items of religious significance, such as crucifixes and Bibles, were said to repel these monsters, hence their presence in the kit."

The Buyer Of The Vampire-Kit Is Glad To Own It
The Derbyshire owner of the vampire-slaying kit, who did not wish to be named, said: "I was stunned and delighted by the result. It’s a fascinating item, a conversation piece. I came across it in Southwell, Nottinghamshire, fairly recently. I liked it for its novelty and historical value."

"Interestingly, Lord Hailey has a memorial tablet in London’s Westminster Abbey which pays warm tribute to him."

The plaque states that "Baron Hailey of Shahpur and Newport Pagnell" was a "ruler of great provinces in India" and "In Africa no less renowned for labors which gave shape to African freedom". It also states that he was "adorned with the grace of wit" and was "wise, kind, faithful in all his dealings, tolerant and humane."

It's unclear whether the buyer plans to use the mysterious vampire-killing kit or not.

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