Lost historic medal cabinet turns up for sale on eBay
AHISTORIC cabinet lost for more than 35 years has been returned to the town.
The carved oak medal case had been used to display 70 military medals at West Park Museum in Macclesfield since the 1930s.
But in the late 1970s Cheshire County Council, which ran the museum, lost the cabinet during a reorganisation of its collection.
It was spotted by chance for sale on eBay by eagleeyed history buff Stephen Pearson last month.
With the help from historian Dorothy BentleySmith, a former curator at West Park Museum, it is now on display in Charles Roe House on Chestergate.
Dorothy said: “Mystery surrounds how this beautiful cabinet went missing all those years ago and suddenly turns up for sale on eBay. But the end result is the important thing - it has returned to Macclesfield.”
The cabinet contained a rare collection of medals belonging to William Lincoln White, the son of a former mayor of the Macclesfield.
When the Sutton silk dyer died in 1929 the cabinet was given to West Park Museum by his widow Sarah.
It sat in the museum for almost 40 years until 1978 when the museum was temporarily closed for three weeks to be redecorated.
The collection, including the cabinet, was taken to Northwich museum to be stored, but no records were kept.
The museum remained closed for three years and was later transferred to Cheshire County Council where many items were lost
e cabinet was bought by Mr Pearson for less than £100 and collected from a house in Leigh.
Dorothy said: “Quite how the cabinet got from Northwich to Leigh is anyone’s guess.
“I don’t think anyone knew it was outside public ownership until it turned up on eBay.
“Amazingly the cabinet has the original plaque detailing Mrs White’s donation, and some of my handwritten labels from my time at the museum.
“The cabinet will need some restoring as there is some damage to the case but it’s in pretty good nick and is a fantastic example of carving from the town.
“Stephen has managed to preserve a piece of the town’s history and should be congratulated for his service to the town.”
The cabinet is now on display at Charles Roe House alongside the Macclesfield School of Carving collection.
●● Stephen Pearson and Dorothy Bentley-Smith with the former medal cabinet