A $700,000 collection of folk art, antiques and other furnishings collected by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and his wife, Abby Aldrich Rockefeller, has been given to Colonial Williamsburg.
The furnishings come from Bassett Hall, the 18th-century plantation on 585 acres at the edge of the historic district. The Rockefellers lived in the house and collected the objects from 1936, when they began to restore Williamsburg.
The 125 folk objects in the house include 10 weather vanes and 70 American pictures, as well as patriotic carvings, including eagles. Mrs. Rockefeller gave the nucleus of Williamsburg's Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Folk Art Center, which opened in 1957. But the Bassett Hall folk art is judged by experts as "ranking with the best in the center."
The house also contains a collection of four seasons figures, as well as 18th-and 19th-century American Chippendale, Federal and Empire furniture.
A 1770 New England curly maple desk was bought by Mrs. Rockefeller when she was 15, her first antique.
John D. Rockefeller III inherited Bassett Hall and its furnishings in 1960, though all the family used them. After his death last July, his heirs gave their rights to the estate to Colonial Williamsburg. The $4.4-million property gift was announced in April. The gift of the furnishings from the JDR III fund was announced yesterday.
Colonial Williamsburg hopes to open the estate as a house museum. CAPTION: Picture, The Parlor at Bassett Hall