Edgar Allen Poe is honored on the American Numismatic Association?s 117th Anniversary Convention medal. The 2008 World?s Fair of Money will be held in Baltimore, Md., the city where Poe lived, wrote, died and was buried.
?I am thrilled at the selection of Edgar Allan Poe as the subject of the ANA Baltimore medal,? said Larry Shepherd, ANA executive director. ?This is a fitting tribute to our host city.?
Artist Jamie Franki?s obverse design features a 3/4 portrait of Poe in high relief. It is inspired by an oil painting by Baltimore artist Oscar Halling and ?informed by every image I could find,? Franki said.
The word, ?Nevermore,? immortalized in Poe?s The Raven, circles the edge above Poe?s head and a small incused silhouette of a raven is perched on his signature, which was taken from an archival scan.
The reverse tells the tale of the annual ?Poe Toast,? where for each of the past 59 years on Poe?s birthday, a black-clad figure visits the grave site and raises a cognac toast. The toaster then leaves a half-bottle of cognac and three roses on the grave.
?Poe is an absolutely fascinating person to draw,? said Franki, a coin collector who teaches art at the University of North Carolina-Charlotte.
?He was poor, sickly, a substance abuser and an odd character ... I wanted his expression to reflect his wit and intelligence as well as the somewhat tortured life that he lived.?
Franki said he hopes that the medal will cause people to explore more about the relationship Poe had with Baltimore and inspire them to read his literature and learn more about him.
Just 125 bronze medals will be struck, along with 150 two-medal sets (bronze and silver) and 125 convention medal badges. Badges cost $22, bronze medals cost $50 and two-medal sets cost $65.
Pre-orders for June delivery may be placed by calling (800) 467-5725 or visiting www.money.org.