MORRISTOWN, NJ - On November 14, 1944, the Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael donated a high chest purported to have John Hancock Provenance to the Morristown National Historical Park.
The date is significant as it was five months after D-Day when more than 160,000 Allied troops landed on the beaches of Normandy, France to fight Nazi Germany and six months before Nazi Germany's May 1945 surrender to the Allies.
The gift, according to the National Historical Park, was a "thank you" to the nation for its support of the Jewish community during the Second World War. Fundraising by the Morristown Jewish Center Beit Yisrael (MJCBY) began during the height of the war, and the exchange was facilitated by Israel Sack, a famous Lithuanian-born, New York City based antiques dealer, said organizers.
For the 75th anniversary of the donation, the chest will be on display until the end of 2019 on the second floor of the Ford Mansion. The high chest displays stunning craftsmanship. It is constructed of maple and pine, with a mahogany stain, and is made from two separate pieces that fit into each other. The high chest’s feet are in the Queen Anne style, a decorative element popular between 1725 and 1750.
The chest which has been in storage for the last 35 years, can only be seen during guided tours of the Ford Mansion. All tours of the Ford Mansion begin in Morristown NHP’s Washington’s Headquarters Museum. The tour schedule is available at https://www.nps.gov/morr/planyourvisit/hours.htm. For additional information about the tours, call Wednesday-Sunday, 973-539-2016 x 210