Our story begins before WWII, with the wealthy Grunstein family in Oradea, Romania, the owners of a flourishing logging business in the Transylvanian forests. They helped their less wealthy relatives, either by employing them or in more original ways, like sending a few wagons of timber to the reputed French Notre Dame school to cover the tuition fee of my mother in law, a poor villager relative, who dreamed of attending this school, but could not afford it.
About a year later, my husband released the luggage, assembled the chandelier, and hanged it in the living room of their first rented apartment in Holon. Then in the second one. Then in the last one, where my mother in law lived till 2002. For five additional years, all her belongings remained untouched, until the apartment was sold and we had to empty it. My husband disassembled and packed the chandelier yet again, and the box waited patiently in our storage for its next journey.
Last month we repacked it, photographed the parts in their order of assembly and sent the box overseas by plane, to Marion in New York. The photos, arranged in a PowerPoint presentation, were sent by mail.
I don't know if and where it will be hanged again, but considering all the mileage and wandering, I can safely call it a Jewish chandelier.