Archive for the ‘Ancestry Photo Display Box’ Category

Custom 3 Panel Heirloom Display Box (c.WWI)

Custom Carved & Engraved 3 Panel Heirloom Display Box (c.WWI)



T-3 097 (600x800)_edited-1Civilizations have come & gone, but not without commemorating their military exploits; through memoirs, diaries, painting / prints, handcrafted carved boxes, always noting the deeds of valor, often done by ordinary people. Such were the Flaherty boys, relatives of Mr. T. Johnson. In possession of some photos & war records, Mr. Johnson commissioned Uri to handcraft an heirloom box, the second commission, continuing his ancestral tree, (refer to March 1, 2012 blog ). Thus, using multi dimensional mediums as wood to  carve, brass to engrave, leather to carve, Uri designed & crafted a 3 panel display box to hold the time weathered pictures & testimonies of their service. In addition, the back panel displays a copy of  an image by Frank Schoonover ( illustrator ) entitled  ‘How Twenty Marines Took Bouresches’  which first appeared in the Sept. 1919 issue of Ladies Home Journal ( note: purchased the right to use this image ). The front panels respectively, have a painted carving of  both ‘Uncle Sam’ based on a J.M.Flagg 1917 poster & ‘Old Glory’  the name first coined by William Driver of Salem, Mass. ( c.1824 ).

As recounted by Mr. T. Johnson……

A great uncle of mine, Edward Flaherty, and a distant cousin of the family, Francis Flaherty, answered their country’s call when the U.S. declared war on Germany in 1917.

Both were Iowa boys raised on the farm and infused with a desire to do their patriotic duty, battle “The Hun” and in President’ Woodrow Wilson’s words: “Make the World Safe for Democracy”.

Edward and Francis saw action in big American offensives along the Marne and Meuse-Argonne Rivers in France. Both men suffered from inhaling mustard gas but both survived, although Edward would die prematurely in the early 1930s from the long term congestive effects of the gas.

A bit of their war records had been passed down as well as a couple of black and white photos which to me seemed forlorn and not tribute enough to soldiers that had sacrificed so much.

I asked Uri to create a fitting dual memorial to these two warriors before the images and the memories got lost as so often tragically happens. We are just a generation removed from obliteration of so much priceless family history. And once gone, it cannot be retrieved.

Thanks to Uri’s brilliant craftsmanship, this fragment of history has become an art piece about two American boys who fought the good fight. It now stands ready to be passed down from generation to generation as an heirloom.

See Gallery  ( start top left ) to review details & progress from start to finish                     


For the cessation of the hostilities on the Western Front the Armistice was signed between the Allies of WWI & Germany at Compiegne, France at 11am, the 11th month, 11th day 1918.


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Custom Woodcrafted Heirloom Photo Display Box

Custom Carved Heirloom Photo Display Box







In America’s history, there has been an active interest in learning one’s genealogy and ancestors, as well as recording these via words, paintings / pictures; often displayed in custom woodcrafted heirloom boxes or frames.

There are many stories (the spirit of a single person, a single place, a particular occasion) woven together that have made and continues to make the most vibrant fabric of the American story.


Recounted By Mr. Thomas Johnson, the great, great grandson of Mr. Anthony Canavan … is such a story …..

Approximately 160 years ago the man in this picture, my great, great grandfather, Anthony Canavan, made the fateful decision to emigrate with his young family from County Mayo, Ireland to the Promised Land – The United States. He did it to avoid almost certain starvation from the Great Famine that was ravaging the Emerald Isle and causing a huge exodus of Irish to America.

According to  family lore, the passage across the Atlantic was rough with huge, rolling seas that caused part of the ship’s rigging to fall and blind his oldest son John in one eye (a fact that did not keep him from serving on the side of the Union in the Civil War years later). The ship eventually docked in Philadelphia where Canavan saw signs and placards warning “Irish and dogs keep of the grass.” A few years later the Canavan clan made its way west to Kankakee, Illinois where Anthony bought a farm and from which late one autumn night in 1871 he saw the northern skyline turned into an unearthly crimson hue — the Great Chicago Fire.

This picture, taken during the last year of his life in 1890, captures the determination and grit that emboldened Canavan to cross an ocean and forge a new life in a foreign country. The photo and a funeral prayer card are beautifully presented and preserved in a one – of – a – kind custom – made frame by Uri Misrachi with images of a farm and a plow carved into each side.

It seems only fitting that Uri, himself an immigrant to America, took on the job of creating this beautiful frame – an heirloom to be passed down to future generations – of the original immigrant of our family. We think Anthony Canavan would be well pleased.

Gallary: step by step


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