Coffee and tea service
Overall: 10 1/2 x 11 3/4 x 6 1/2 in. (26.7 x 29.8 x 16.5 cm)
Wrought silver coffee and tea service consisting of a coffeepot, teapot, sugar bowl with lid, creamer and wastebowl; round bulbous bodies on round splayed feet, set upon square bases above four hairy claw and ball feet; bird's head spouts and handles on the coffee and tea pots; rose and leaf finials on the pots and sugar bowl; no makers' marks.
This water pitcher and related tea and coffee service were assembled by the original owners, James (1751-1836) and Dolley Madison (1768-1849), and may have been one of two silver services regularly used at the family's Virginia estate, Montpelier, where the couple periodically lived after Madison's presidency. It is widely believed that Dolley Madison pawned the pitcher and service in 1848 to help relieve the debt of her son from her first marriage, John Payne Todd (1792-1852). The service was then acquired by James C. McGuire, Sr. (d. 1888), the executor of Todd's estate, and later donated to the N-YHS by his granddaughter.
Gift of Miss Mary Madison McGuire
James Madison (1751-1836), who married Dolley Payne Todd (1768-1849); Tea set: to James C. McGuire (d. 1888); to his son Joseph Deakins McGuire, Sr. (1842-1914), who married Anna Madison Chapman (1844-1904); to their son James Clark McGuire (1867-1930); to his sister Mary Madison McGuire (1868-ca. 1939), the donor. Pitcher: to James C. McGuire (d. 1888); to his son Frederick Bauders McGuire; to his niece Mary Madison McGuire (1868-ca. 1939), the donor.
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.