Bogus eBay/Gunbroker Auctions Kit, 2011
On January 28, 2011, bidding ended on an eBay auction described as "Real Very Rare Vampire Killing Kit C 1835-1845," which, due to legal requirements, offered the included pistol on a seperate firearms auction site (gunbroker.com). This kit represents one of the better crafted fakes in recent memory, and fortunately, the reserve price of $2,650 was not met by the 8 bids.
Here is the listing of the kit:
Real Very Rare Vampire Killing Kit C 1835-1845
Immediate authenticity problems with this include the following:
Vampire Killing Kit Circa 1835-1845. This auction is for a professor Blomberg vampire killing kit in nice condition. Complete with tonics & solid silver bullets, incrusted with gothic crosses for adversary’s suffering from the ailment of lycanthropia. The ivory cross attaches to the stake and makes into a little "sword". The only non~original component of the kit is the powder flask, which I had made to look period and complete the kit. I have owned this kit for over 20 years. I will include with the sale a copy of Blomberg’s treatise “The Creature Vampire”. Please study the photographs closely, as what you see is what you get. Ask any questions before you bid. Because all sales are final.
ATTN: Due to E~Bay rules on firearms the original cap & ball Liege pistol by Nicolas Plomduer that goes to this kit is NOT being sold through E~bay but can be purchased separately at gunbroker.com item # 212902574. You may also call me with any questions 360 920-xxxx
The name "Plomdeur" is mis-spelled as "Plomduer" throughout the artifacts.
The label printing is unlike any Blomberg labels yet observed.
The seller is up-front about re-creating and aging the powder flask, which suggests he has skills in artificial aging.
The bottle labels are hand-printed and suspect.
The clearly modern pamphlet "The Creature Vampire" (published 1998) is included.
The description includes "...what you see is what you get. Ask any questions before you bid. Because all sales are final."
The label text reads (typos intentionally included):
This box contains the items considered necessary, for the protection of persons who travel into certain little known countries of Eastern Europe, where the populous are plagued with a particular manifestation of evil known as VAMPIRES. Professor Blomberg respectfully requests that the purchaser of this kit, carefully studies his book in order, should evil manifestations become apparent, he is equiped to deal with them efficiently. Professor Blomberg wishes to announce his grateful thanks to that well-known gun maker of Liege, Nicolas Plomduer, whose help in compiling of the special items, the silver bullets & etc., has been most efficient.
The items enclosed are as follows:
1. An efficient pistol with its usual accoutrements
2. Silver Bullets
4. Powdered flowers of Garlic
5. A wooden stake
6. Professor Blombergs new Serum
Please note the extra commas, grammar issues, and misspelling of 'equiped,' 'Nicolas Plomduer,' and '& etc.'
The seller re-listed the item shortly thereafter, raising the starting bid to $3,250 (a higher price makes it look more authentic), but failed to secure any bids at all. That auction ended on February 18, 2011. The seller, 'treasuresofold' had otherwise positive ratings. In this particular case, it might have been appropriate for the kit to bear the latin inscription 'caveat emptor.'
The corresponding auction at Gunbroker (listed as "Boxlock Caplock for Vampire Killing Kit"), which attracted 3 bids (the highest was $250), but also failed to meet reserve (and was subsequently re-listed) had the description:
Vampire Killing Kit Pistol This nice little Liege pistol by Nicolas Plomduer is part of a vampire killing kit which is listed on E~bay item # . I reserve the right to close this auction early if the bidding has not met the reserve, as it is also for sale through private offering. Make sure you study all the photos and ask and questions BEFORE you bid as all sales are final.
Apparently consumers are getting a little smarter.