Miniature Portrait on Ivory of Vlad the Impaler, Dracula, #2814 Antiquery
A fine miniature on ivory portrait of Vlad the Impaler (Dracula) Very Cool if it is him! Painting measures approx. 3.25" high X 2.5"; contained in a wonderful gilt brass and or copper case with-in a leather case. Please see photos of known images of Vlad the Impaler for comparison. You be the judge...
Historical and geographical references for Vlad the Impaler, a.k.a. Vlad III, Dracula, Drakulya, or Tepes;
Although Dracula is a work of fiction, it does contain some historical references. The historical connections with the novel and how much Stoker knew about the history are a matter of conjecture and debate.
Following the publication of In Search of Dracula by Radu Florescu and Raymond McNally in 1972, the supposed connections between the historical Transylvanian-born Vlad III Dracula of Wallachia and Bram Stoker's fictional Dracula attracted popular attention. During his main reign (1456Ð1462), "Vlad the Impaler" is said to have killed from 40,000 to 100,000 European civilians (political rivals, criminals and anyone else he considered "useless to humanity"), mainly by using his favourite method of impaling them on a sharp pole. The main sources dealing with these events are records by Saxon settlers in neighbouring Transylvania, who had frequent clashes with Vlad III. Vlad III is revered as a folk hero by Romanians for driving off the invading Turks. His impaled victims are said to have included as many as 100,000 Ottoman Turks. These numbers are most likely exaggerated.
Historically, the name "Dracula" is derived from a secret fraternal order of knights called the Order of the Dragon, founded by Sigismund of Luxembourg (king of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia, and Holy Roman Emperor) to uphold Christianity and defend the Empire against the Ottoman Turks. Vlad II Dracul, father of Vlad III, was admitted to the order around 1431 because of his bravery in fighting the Turks. From 1431 onward, Vlad II wore the emblem of the order and later, as ruler of Wallachia, his coinage bore the dragon symbol. The name Dracula means "Son of Dracul".
Stoker came across the name Dracula in his reading on Romanian history, and chose this to replace the name (Count Wampyr) that he had originally intended to use for his villain. However, some Dracula scholars, led by Elizabeth Miller, have questioned the depth of this connection. They argue that Stoker in fact knew little of the historic Vlad III except for the name "Dracula". There are sections in the novel where Dracula refers to his own background, and these speeches show that Stoker had some knowledge of Romanian history. Stoker mentions the Dracula who fought against the Turks, and was later betrayed by his brother, historical facts which unequivocally point to Vlad III:
Who was it but one of my own race who as Voivode crossed the Danube and beat the Turk on his own ground? This was a Dracula indeed! Woe was it that his own unworthy brother, when he had fallen, sold his people to the Turk and brought the shame of slavery on them! Was it not this Dracula, indeed, who inspired that other of his race who in a later age again and again brought his forces over the great river into Turkey-land; who, when he was beaten back, came again, and again, though he had to come alone from the bloody field where his troops were being slaughtered, since he knew that he alone could ultimately triumph! (Chapter 3, pp 19)
The Count's intended identity is later explicitly confirmed by Professor Van Helsing:
He must, indeed, have been that Voivode Dracula who won his name against the Turk, over the great river on the very frontier of Turkey-land. (Chapter 18, pp 145)
The Dracula legend as he created it, and as it has been portrayed in films and television shows, may be a compound of various influences. Many of Stoker's biographers and literary critics have found strong similarities to the earlier Irish writer Sheridan Le Fanu's classic of the vampire genre, Carmilla. In writing Dracula, Stoker may also have drawn on stories about the s’dhe, some of which feature blood-drinking women. The folkloric figure of Abhartach has also been suggested as a source.
It has been suggested that Stoker was influenced by the history of Countess Elizabeth Bathory, who was born in the Kingdom of Hungary. Bathory is suspected to have tortured and killed anywhere between 36 and 700 young women over a period of many years, and it was commonly believed that she committed these crimes in order to bathe in or drink their blood, believing that this preserved her youth. In Elizabeth Miller's opinion, no credible evidence of blood-drinking or other blood crimes in the Bathory case has ever been found, however the stories and influence may explain why Dracula appeared younger after feeding.
Some have claimed the castle of Count Dracula was inspired by Slains Castle, at which Bram Stoker was a guest of the 19th Earl of Erroll. However, since as Stoker visited the castle in 1895Ñfive years after work on Dracula had begunÑthere is unlikely to be much connection. Many of the scenes in Whitby and London are based on real places that Stoker frequently visited, although in some cases he distorts the geography for the sake of the story.
It has been suggested that Stoker received much historical information from çrmin V‡mbŽry, a Hungarian professor he met at least twice. Miller argues "there is nothing to indicate that the conversation included Vlad, vampires, or even Transylvania" and that, "furthermore, there is no record of any other correspondence between Stoker and V‡mbŽry, nor is V‡mbŽry mentioned in Stoker's notes for Dracula."