Objects in Trust
A vast collection of historic cast and wrought iron cookware dating from circa 1600 to the 1950s, considered to be one of the finest and most extensive in existence, was assembled over a 45 year period, by noted collector the late Lawrence Joel Schiff of New York City.
The collection consists of the contents of Mr. Schiff’s home, and storage facility previously located in NYC, and consists roughly of 10,000 pieces of artifacts, consisting of cast-iron pots and pans, skillets, grills, waffle irons, muffin and bread molds, bundt pans, very early coffee roasters, a large collection of Japanese Tetsubin ceremonial teapots, and waffer molds, middle eastern wrought ware, ice cream cone manufacturing equipment, many hundred exquisite, unique tong and handled type waffle and wafer ceremonial, religious, commemorative molds, a large selection of identifiable European, cast-iron cookware, early colonial teapots and kettles, porringers and spiders, a vast collection of toy, doll house and play size assorted miniature pieces.
If you could cook in it or eat out of it, it is there. Also included are 10 to 15 storage tubs of archival material, consisting of rare trade catalogs, texts and ephemera, also including an extremely large and notable collection of antique postcards depicting historic hearths.
The collection has been moved to Boston and is currently housed in three 20ft. x 8ft. x 8ft. standard storage containers. The majority of the objects are packed into 75-42in. x 32in. reinforced gaylord type cardboard skid containers stacked three high. The crates vary in weight, ranging from 500 to 1,500 lbs. each, which are suitable for re-transport. They have been constructed for transport and long-term dry storage, with an estimated total weight of 35,000 lbs.
Our only restriction, is that the collection stays in compliance to IRS Form 8282 for tax deduction purposes, and that the gift must be kept for at least three years. We have no other restrictions. An appraised inventory has been completed and photographed. It has been cataloged in a versatile format with current values. A fork truck is available for loading, and a stipend is available for shipping.
Mr. Schiff had a persistent desire to ultimately establish “The Museum of the Hearth and Kitchen.” The idea is to trace the history of pre-modern cooking, from stone- age until about 1950, with exhibits and reenactments, and an on-site restaurant where chefs prepare meals using bygone techniques. However, we realize this may be difficult or impossible to achieve, this was only a desire, and is not a restriction.
There are no other instructions regarding this matter.
– Jeffrey Schiff, Sole Trustee. Pictures of Joel’s collection in his New York City storage space.