Birmingham & Black Country

Mysterious 'vampire slaying kit' up for auction

Bela Lugosi as Dracula Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Auctioneers said slaying vampires was an "extremely serious" business

A "vampire slaying kit" with shark teeth, crucifixes and a 19th Century Bible is up for auction.

Its origins are cloaked in mystery but there is no shadow of a doubt it is a "great conversation piece," the current West Midlands-based owner said.

The mystery bears no reflection on the guide price, with auctioneers counting on bids of up to £3,000 when it goes under the hammer online on 16 July.

They said it contains "all you need" to resurrect vampire hunting traditions.

Image copyright PA Medoa/Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption It is not clear how old the kit is, but auctioneers say it has "all you need" to kill vampires
Image copyright PA Media/ Hansons Auctioneers
Image caption The lid of the kit includes an enamel painting showing the resurrection of Christ

The gothic-style box, which also comprises a pocket-size pistol, a carved ivory wolf in robes and a cobalt blue glass phial with unknown contents - first saw the light of day when its current owner bought it three years ago.

"I bought it from a large antiques fair in Newark-on-Trent," the seller, who wished to remain anonymous, said. "I have had it in my own collection for three years now.

"I know very little of its history."

"The task of killing a vampire was extremely serious," Derbyshire-based auctioneer Charles Hanson said.

"Items of religious significance, such as crucifixes and Bibles, were said to repel these monsters, hence their strong presence in the kit we have found."

The Bible hints at the possible age of the collection - the 1842 edition of the New Testament bears inscriptions from its contemporary owner, an Isabella Swarbrick.

Mr Hanson said superstition around vampires dates back centuries but hit its stride in popular culture following the publication of John Polidori's The Vampyre in 1819 and later Bram Stoker's 1897 classic Dracula.

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