The Museum Collection

Chinese Plate for Poe's Boyhood Home

ID #: 1083
Date: 18th Century
Format: Porcelin
Source: Gift of Mrs. Benjamin L. Purcell
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


This eighteenth century Canton plate was once part of a set owned by Poe's foster parent's John and Frances Allan. It was bought at the estate sale of the Allan mansion "Moldavia" in 1881 by Oscar Cranz. Benjamin L. Purcell purchased the plate from Cranz, and Purcell's widow donated it to the Poe Museum in 1922, the year the Museum opened. Such a plate would have been a status symbol during Poe's childhood, when items from China were considered rare and exotic in Richmond.