The Poe Museum has been gifted nearly 60 intimate artifacts relating to the world-renowned horror author Edgar Allan Poe.
The gift comes from one of the world’s leading literary collectors, Susan Jaffe Tane — who is also on the museum’s Board of Directors. She’s worked with the Poe Museum for years, and is grateful that these gifts from her personal collection can be honored with a permanent home for the museum’s centennial.
Here are some highlighted artifacts being cataloged by the museum.
“...there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well, too. It was the beating of the old man’s heart…”
This is Poe’s personal pocket watch, which the museum says he owned while writing the suspenseful and murderous story “The Tell-Tale Heart.”
“…But we loved with a love that was more than love—
I and my Annabel Lee—”
This ring, according to Poe historians, was given to his first love + last fiancée Elmira Shelton. She was the inspiration for his final poem, “Annabel Lee.” He died 10 days before the two were to be wed.
“In death – no! even in the grave all is not lost…”
Quite possibly the most morbid of the artifacts is an actual piece of Poe’s coffin from 1849. When his grave was moved across the Westminster Presbyterian Church cemetery in Baltimore in 1875, his coffin fully broke in the process — yes, his body fell out.
The museum’s executive director, Maeve Jones, says the artifacts will be slowly unveiled throughout this year at a variety of centennial events. The first will feature Susan Jaffe Tane at the museum’s first Unhappy Hour of 2022 on Thurs., April 28.
Want to learn more about the horror lord? You can visit the museum’s current exhibits Tues.-Sat. from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. + Sun. from 11 a.m.-5 p.m.