The Museum Collection

Candelabra Belonging to Marie Louise Shew

ID #: 514
Creator: English
Date: 1800-1810
Format: Sheffield Plate
Dimensions: 17" x 17" each
Source: Museum Purchase from Elva P. Barney, Sister of Marie Louise Shew
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


This pair of Old Sheffield Plate candelabra were once owned by Marie Louise Shew, the woman to who Poe dedicated the poems "To M.L.S." and "The Beloved Physician." Shew was a close friend to both Poe and his wife and cared for Mrs. Poe during the latter's final days. Mrs. Shew was among the few to attend Poe's wife's funeral. It is said Poe wrote his poem "The Bells under the lights of these candelabra with the assistance of Shew, who supplied him with the theme as well as the first line of each stanza.

The candlesticks were sold to the Poe Museum by Shew's sister, Elva P. Barney. According to a March 1929 letter Barney sent to the Poe Museum, "My sister also said to me Poe came to my home one Sunday evening seeming despondent saying he had nothing to write about, no subject, and while he sat there the various church bells were sending forth their tones she suggested--the Bells for a topic which he did."

The Poe Museum purchased the candelabra for $200 in 1929.