More than 14,500 euros for the kit to hunt vampires of a 19th century English lord

It could be a scene written for one of the seven seasons of Buffy the Vampire Slayer starring Sarah Michelle Gellar, but no. On the contrary, it is a true story with a real and high-born protagonistWilliam Malcolm Hailey a british lord who lived in the 19th and 20th centuries and whose kit for hunting vampires has recently gone on sale. According to Hanson’s, the commissioned auction house, the item generated a lot of expectation and far exceeded the starting price.

This is a recently auctioned English lord’s 19th century vampire hunting kit. (Photo: Twitter Capture / @HansonsUK)

Sold just a few days ago for £16,900 (€14,566.24 at current exchange rates including buyer’s premium), the lot went up for auction with an estimate of between £2,000 and £3,000, which was clearly an understatement. Charles Hanson, owner of Hansons Auctioneers, has commented through a statement published on the house’s website that “the interest in this article before the auction was intense and attracted strong early offers. However the result exceeded all expectations. Offers came from all over the world, including France, the United States and Canada. Objects like this fascinate collectors and this one had a particularly interesting provenance.”

The name of the current owner of the lot is a mystery, but not that of its original owner, Lord Hailey. Hanson has stated that it was “a British peer and former administrator of British India.” What is unknown is why someone of his social status acquired a kit to deal with a myth like that of vampires. “Whether out of fear or fascination, it is interesting to learn that a member of the highest aristocratic social order, a man with a place in the House of Lords, purchased this item. He reminds us that the vampire myth affects people from all walks of life”, has pointed out the owner of the auction house in charge of its sale.

The article in question, as can be seen in the image published both together with the sale statement and in the company social networks, is a kind of wooden briefcase with a multitude of utensils traditionally associated with hunting vampires, as literature and cinema have shown for so long. Hanson’s inventory details the following: “Ccrucifixesa pair of pistols matching, a gunpowder flask brass, Holy Watera Bible gothic, a mallet wooden, one stake, chandeliers brass, rosaries and documents of the metropolitan police of the time”.

As for the box that contains all that, they specify that this kit dated late 19th century comes with Lord Hailey’s initials, as well as his name and address, and that “the lockable box, which contains tools and holy objects to ward off vampires, features two brass crucifixes on the lid that act as a locking device slippery secret.

About its original owner, his full name is William Malcolm Hailey, 1st Baron Hailey and he lived between 1872 and 1969. “Recognized for his intellect”, he trained at Corpus Christi College in Oxford and served as Governor of Punjab from 1924 to 1928. He was also Governor of the United Provinces from 1928 to 1934.

The person who put the kit up for sale asked not to be identified and acknowledged being “stunned and delighted with the result” of the auction. He had obtained it recently and was struck by “its novelty and historical value.” As a curiosity, he has mentioned in his statements published by the auction house that “Lord Hailey has a commemorative plaque in London’s Westminster Abbey that pays him a warm tribute.”

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More than 14,500 euros for the kit to hunt vampires of a 19th century English lord