Aberdeen Maritime Museum

Shipwreck treasures donated to Maritime Museum

From City of Aberdeen

From Aberdeeen City Council

A Victorian coffee pot and cream jug salvaged from the steamer City of Aberdeen, which foundered near Portlethen in January 1871, have been donated to Aberdeen Maritime Museum.

Australian pensioner Margot Rutherford, who is in her 90s, has donated the items to the museum because she wants to see them returned to their home city.

The silver jug and coffee pot, which are in excellent condition, have been prized Rutherford family heirlooms since they were acquired by Mrs Rutherford's husband's grandfather in 1871. The items were taken to Australia when his son emigrated there about 1905.

Mrs Rutherford said: "For well over a century this beautiful coffee pot and lovely cream jug have been cared for by my family here in Australia, and they've brought us a great deal of pleasure over these years. Indeed, after so long, they've become a part of my family, and it's been very hard to part with them.

"However, my daughter Debbie and I feel that the time now has come for them to return home to Aberdeen. By donating them to the Maritime Museum, we know that they will continue bringing pleasure to many more people across the years ahead, and a pleasure shared is a pleasure doubled."

Mrs Rutherford explained in a letter to Lord Provost Peter Stephen that her late husband's grandfather, James Rutherford, who lived in Newcastle upon Tyne, bought the coffee pot and jug as salvage from the ship.

They were taken to Australia by Mrs Rutherford's father-in-law John Rutherford. Her husband, James, inherited the items when his father died, and Mrs Rutherford has looked after them since her marriage in 1945.

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