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Victorian coffin/casket plaque for child (1870's)


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In memory of 'Rachel D. Power AGED.5.YEARS.&.6.MO's.'

Stamp on back 'Patented Feb 21st 1871'. Silver plated. Nice calligraphy on front. 

Research has found, in  Columbus, East Whitby Township, Old Ontario County, Ontario, Canada cemetery:

In Memory of
Rachel Daw, daughter of Richard D. & Harriet Power, who died on May 7, 1877 - aged 5 yrs., & 6 mths.

Since this item was found in Ontario, this might be the correct person.

9.5 x 13 cm


Coffin plates are decorative adornments attached to a coffin that can contain various inscriptions like the name and death date of the deceased or a simple terms of endearment.

They are usually made of a soft metal like lead, pewter, silver, brass, copper or tin. The different metals reflect the different functions of the plates, or the status and wealth of the deceased. For a basic funeral, a simple lead plate would be lettered with the name, date of death and often the age of the departed, and nailed to the lid of a wooden coffin. But high status people could afford a plate of a more expensive metal and elaborate design.

When coffin plates began increasing in popularity, the practice of removing the plates from the coffin before burial became the trend as they were often removed by the loved ones to be kept as mementos of the deceased. This practice peaked in the late 19th century.