Tuesday, October 19, 2010

31 Days of Halloween - Day 19

 


Above is the Dracula crest ring that Bela Lugosi had made for himself  in 1943 and wore when he reprised the role of Dracula in Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948). The stone is carnelian with a silver overlay. It later became part of Forrest J Ackerman's astounding collection of science fiction, fantasy, and horror memorabilia where it could be found on the ring finger of his own left hand.

According to Forry the ring "has also been on the finger of Christopher Lee, John Carradine, Boris Karloff, Frank Langella, John Phillip Law (the Angel of Barbarella has played the Thirsty Count on the stage), Carroll Borland (Lugosi's protegée), Boris Karloff [sic] and other vampiric personalities. I believe that would also include, as I remember, Vampira and Barabara Steele and Reggie Nalder."

When I first read that in 1981 I took it to mean that it became a tradition and official adornment for anyone playing Dracula, until I realized that Karloff never played Dracula and Carroll Borland appeared with Lugosi in Mark of the Vampire in 1935, way before the ring was made and anyway Lugosi would have been wearing it if he had it. Of course she never went on to play Dracula either. And so on. What this really means as that at some point when Forry met these various individuals he asked them to put on the ring (I don't know if he photographed any of them wearing it) just so he could build its ephemeral pedigree of Dracula associations. I wonder what each of them thought of this strange request and if it truly fit on all of them.

Ackerman also was the proud owner of numerous editions of the novel Dracula by Bram Stoker including a first edition not only signed by Stoker himself, but, like the ring,  a plethora of individuals associated with Dracula, plus Vincent Price who has never had anything to do with Dracula oddly enough. Take a look at the authographs as they appear in the book below.




      

7 comments:

Michael Jones said...

That is incredibly terrific! What does one have to do now to wear it?

Robert Pope said...

I'm kind of surprised that Universal hasn't marketed a reproduction of that ring by now..."Franklin Mint-style."

John Rozum said...

Take a look at the Amazon links at the end of the post. There's a fancy version of the ring made from previous materials that sells for $200.00, and a less fancy version for $50.00.

I'm really tempted by the $50.00 one, but can't really justify buying it.

G. W. Ferguson said...

Not to toot my own bloggery horn (I ain't no pimp, really), but for those interested in who sells reproductions (mostly for moon money), I babbled a bit about the Dracula ring in "The Random C*** Which Infests My Brain, Part III. Man, I wish I had a spare $200!

John Rozum said...

I'm glad you did toot your own horn. I missed that fine post. The origin of that ring will no doubt be forever shrouded in mystery, as well it should be.

The Frog Queen said...

That was really cool! Thanks for sharing.

Cheers!

Jay Amabile said...

fascinating. I had no idea about that ring!