The Museum Collection

Coffee Pot from Poe's Sister's Home

ID #: 420
Format: Silver plated with wooden handle
Dimensions: 12" x 4"
Source: Museum Purchase from Jane Mackenzie Miller
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
Place of Publication:
Publish Date:


This silver-plated coffee pot was used by Poe's sister's foster family, the Mackenzies, at their Richmond home, Duncan Lodge. Poe's sister lived with the Mackenzies from the time she was orphaned in 1811 until the death of her foster mother, Jane Scott Mackenzie, in 1865. Though neverly legally adopted by the family, various Mackenzie relatives contributed to Rosalie Poe's care until her death in 1874.

The piece bears a Madrid hallmark and was probably made in the eighteenth century for the Gallego family. The initials "RG" on the side of the pot may support this claim. According to Mackenzie tradition, the coffee pot was given by the Spanish-born Joseph Gallego to Poe's sister's foster mother Mrs. Jane Scott Mackenzie. Gallego owned Richmond's largest flour mill and is known to have left $8,000 in his will to Mrs. Mackenzie and $2,000 for the care of Poe's sister, Rosalie Mackenzie Poe. Elsewhere in his will, Gallego mentions "a silver coffee pot," which may be the present one.

The Poe Museum purchased the piece from the Mackenzie family in 1924 for $75.