All this week I've been working on producing a realistic mummified vampire heart as part of a larger project. After a few failed attempts I finally have something I'm happy with.
Isn't it icky? The large hole in the left auricle is where the ashen stake that de-animated this particular vampire entered the heart. Along the top you can see the stubs of the major vessels (pulmonary artery, aorta, superior and inferior vena cava) from when the heart was cut from the creature's chest.
Here's a shot from a slightly lower angle with a few dissection probes in the background. The white spot on the front is wear from the heart bouncing around in a box for a few decades. Click through to the high resolution version and you can see one of the clues to how it was made- the characteristic webbing produced by rubbing a thin layer of liquid latex.
A wider shot with one of the large statues from the infamous Bag of Cthulhu for scale.
Obverse side, showing the stake's exit wound. I love how old and leathery the heart muscle looks, just like a piece of beef jerky.
Looking down from the top. If you look closely you can actually see the interior of the heart through the stubs of the vessels and the stake entry wound. Layers of cotton fibers dyed reddish brown and mixed with liquid latex look amazingly like mummified muscle tissue when they dry.
Now I just have to figure out an appropriately creepy mount for it. I want to do a sideshow-style presentation, but finding the right cabinet is proving difficult.