Universal Monsters - Dracula Medallion Limited Edition Prop Replica


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The medallion that was an essential part of the costume in Universal’s classic 1931 production Dracula. It is Bela Lugosi’s portrayal of the Count in the Universal Studios film that has established itself in pop culture as THE image of a traditional vampire, the classic ‘aristocratic vampire Count’. It is this version of Dracula that has endured and has been imitated and copied countless times and the medallion is one of its more visually striking elements of that look. The costume design was a deliberate attempt to emulate the formal evening attire of the early 1900’s. Part of this attire for an aristocrat, noble or decorated individual was often a neck order. A neck order is a decoration denoting rank, status and/or achievement, worn around the neck with evening dress, as opposed to a ribbon on the chest which is traditionally worn with a uniform. What is interesting is that Dracula’s neck order or medallion only appears in a few scenes in the early reels of the film and then disappears. Yet it became indelibly ingrained in the public consciousness. This impact was undeniably helped by the fact that Bela Lugosi wore a reproduction medallion of a different design during numerous live appearances and performances in character as Dracula both promoting the film and after the production. According to Hollywood lore, he was even buried with a reproduction medallion on his death in 1956. Even with its brief screen time the medallion, like the Count himself, endures and has become immortal The Original Prop Mystery surrounds the original prop. No known example survives and there is in fact anecdotal evidence that it was actually lost or damaged during the production, which may explain its disappearance after the third reel of the film. All of the major cast and crew connected to the original medallion prop are now deceased, and no production records concerning it remain. Additionally, good quality reference images of the original prop are almost non-existent. This of course makes producing a replica challenging, but not impossible. Factory Entertainment dedicated over a year of research and investigation before beginning production to ensure that this replica would be the most accurate ever produced and that any creative decisions made with respect to the details of the medallion, in the absence of an actual original prop to study, were made with the highest level of care after consultation with experts and examination of the available reference and historical context. The original prop is a star shaped sunburst and has six crescent & star finials. This motif is very common in the late 19th and early 20th century Islamic world and is seen on many antique medals and decorations of that period from the Ottoman Empire and Kingdom of Afghanistan which bear striking similarities to the original prop. Both of those political entities were recently dissolved or in the process of dissolution at the time that Dracula was produced and it can be presumed that quantities of their military surplus material were available on the open market and would not have been considered particularly valuable. Factory Entertainment sought the opinion of a noted expert on antique medals and decorations and author of several books, who confirmed that the original prop is not a direct copy of any known antique medal or decoration, but is rather a hybrid of several styles commonly seen on the medals and decorations of the period. Universal had released the epic film ‘All Quite On The Western Front’ the year previously in 1930, with the same Art Director, Charles D. Hall, the same producer, Carl Laemmle Jr. and... Read more

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