"The best to the best!" That was the philosophy of Israel Sack, the legendary antiques dealer. No other individual has contributed more to the preservation of American antique furniture. In this colorful remembrance by his son Harold Sack, president of Israel Sack, Inc. for more than fifty years, American Treasure Hunt tells the stories behind the remarkable discoveries of those rare pieces of furniture, the prominent collectors who acquired them, and the successful growth of the family business.
After his emigration to America in 1903, Israel Sack journeyed across New England, bargaining and negotiating for attic relics and family pieces that only he could discern - with his extraordinary eye - as the work of the great American masters, including Duncan Phyfe, Benjamin Frothingham, John Goddard, John Townsend, and Benjamin Randolph. "I sold quality," said Israel Sack, "and I bought the same way." The many established antiques dealers called him "Crazy" Sack, a name he earned for the high prices he cheerfully paid, and the even higher prices for which he then sold those masterpieces, first in his shop on Charles Street in Boston, then on 57th Street in New York City.
Succeeding his father as the authority on American antiques, Harold Sack traces in A merican Treasure Hunt their lifelong quest for magnificent pieces of furniture. His interesting anecdotes offer an inside view of this exciting and rarefied world - their clients, such as Henry Ford, Ima Hogg, the Kennedys, Henry du Pont, Bill Cosby, the Rockefellers, Paul Mellon; the famous institutions that rely on their expertise, such as Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, Winterthur Museum, the White House, Colonial Williamsburg, the Metropolitan Museum of Art; and the dramatic auctions where the prices paid by Israel Sack, Inc. have set new world records. American Treasure Hunt is a lively history of American antiques in the twentieth century, and a joyous tribute to the outstanding tradition of lsrael Sack.