A Vampire-Killing Kit Goes to Auction
Paging Sarah Michelle Gellar, a.k.a. Buffy the Vampire Slayer (who also happens to be a book collector), ... a real set of vampire-killing tools is coming to auction.
What's inside is enough to scare the bejesus out of anyone. The wooden box contains three crucifixes, a bible, a mirror, a wooden mallet, a pistol, two wooden stakes, a powder-horn, three silver bullets, pliers, vials (for holy water), and a dagger decorated with ivory.
Some believe that kits like these were sold to European travelers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries to protect themselves from the undead, while others view them as souvenirs that cashed in on the popularity of Bram Stoker's Dracula, first published in 1897.
Similar sets have occasionally turned up at auction. At Sotheby's last year, a smaller kit sold for $13,750. This one is conservatively estimated to sell for ??8,000-12,000 ($10,477-15,716) when it goes under the hammer at Christie's Paris next week.