The Museum Collection

Poe's Sister's Artwork

ID #: 17
Creator: Rosalie Mackenzie Poe
Date: Before 1874
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Source: Gift of Miss Lizzie Ragland
Collection: Poe Foundation, Inc.
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Description:

Edgar Allan Poe's only sister, Rosalie Poe (1810-1874), painted and embroidered this handkerchief case. She also appears to have composed the couplet written beneath the design on the front of the piece. The lines read, "T'was from love I borrowed you,/ my sweet perfume, my purple hue."

When Edgar Allan Poe's mother died, he was taken in by John and Frances Allan while his younger sister was fostered by William and Jane Scott Mackenzie. Rosalie Poe attended Miss Mackenzie's School for Girls, a fashionable Richmond school operated by Jane Mackenzie, the sister-in-law of Rosalie's foster mother Jane Scott Mackenzie. As an adult, Rosalie Poe taught Penmanship at the same school. One of her former students, Miss Lizzie Ragland, purchased this handkerchief case from Ms. Poe at a church fundraiser. Ragland donated the piece to the Poe Museum in 1921.

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