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Issue Two

Customer & Client Feedback a catalogue of reactions & experiences

Jackdaw Boxes



Jackdaw Boxes

An Introduction We restore and sell unique and antique wooden boxes that make great gifts for special occasions: Christmas, anniversaries, marriages, rites of passage, graduations, etc. Our approach is based on working with, and for, customers and clients through a free-flow of information, responsive communication and the gaining of their trust. People who buy our boxes and services invariably give this type of purchase serious consideration. In the case of buying a box on-line, we have to try to ensure that you know what you are paying for, and that we meet expectations. In the case of restoration-work, your box is irreplaceable and you will be entrusting us with it. In Issue Two we exemplify the feedback we have received from three sets of clients:• those who buy one of our boxes from the Web Shop over the internet. • those who have asked us to refurbish their box via e-mails or phone calls. • clients who have visited our workshop with a box needing refurbishment, or who want to see a box from our Web Shop prior to possible purchase. You should find examples of others who might have been in a situation parallel to your own. We approached purchasers for feedback with the motive of gaining honest information which might be of value to others. It is also, of course, of value to us, in terms of continuous improvement in our work and service. 2

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Customer Customer & Client Feedback & Experiences

Web Shop Customers

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Resoration Clients via E- Mail

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Clients Visiting the Workshop

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Examples from Web Shop Customers The Web Shop intends to convey honest pictures and descriptions of items for sale. We are happy to answer queries and for time’s sake we communicate via e-mail. We aim to respond either on the same day or within 24 hours of an enquiry. Once any purchase has been made and payment cleared, you will be contacted by e-mail to let you know your box is on its way.

The box is great. It’s a christening present for my Godson. I’m sure he’ll love it, but maybe in a few years’ time! Thanks again, Andrew G – Salisbury, Wilts. I was looking for a memory box for my son’s wedding – at rather short notice – and contacted Jackdaw Boxes through the online service. From start to finish their help, advice and friendliness was exemplary. I was given a choice of hand-made paper inserts, consulted on various different boxes and they sent the box, beautifully packed, and it arrived in time! My son and his wife were speechless when they saw it and it was the talk of the wedding.

Mick M –

Teddington, Middlesex. 4

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I have received my box thank you, it is beautiful, wonderful service - thank you very much. Denise F. – Woking, Surrey.

My wife and I wanted to buy a small 'nick-nack' box for our grandson. We were looking for something with age and character in wood - but without really knowing exactly what we wanted. Fortunately we found the Jackdaw website. This gave us real focus in terms of what was available and in the event we ended up buying two boxes, one for our grandson and one for ourselves. Everything about the experience was first rate and the boxes were all beautifully refurbished and relined and we felt good value. Turn around from time of order was very fast - literally a couple of days. So for us we would have no hesitation in using Jackdaw Boxes again or indeed recommending them. D. M. - Salisbury, Wiltshire.


Jackdaw Boxes

Hi there, I have just purchased a Mahogany Work Box from your site. It would be really great if you could place some information on the box inside it! It's bought for someone to store 'special things' in, so if that could be mentioned, it would be much appreciated! Thanks, Darina – London.

The box arrived this afternoon in excellent condition. It is perfect, exactly what I was hoping for. It is a graduation gift for a very special person who deserved a very special present, and this is it. All the best, Mark - USA 6

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They re-delivered the package this morning, and the box looks great! Thank you for everything, you were wonderful to work with!

Amanda –

Charlottesville, Virginia, USA.

I was looking for a special gift for my daughter for her 21st birthday. She is an art student and has a particular interest in illustration. She also likes boxes and anything old! I though of a writing slope and came across your site via a Google search. The site was clear and well laid out and very easy to use. It was very easy to see the available stock and the photos were clear and very helpful. Once the purchase was made the process and communication was very efficient and quick. I was very pleased with the whole purchasing experience and my daughter was thrilled with her gift. I felt that we received good value for money as I have seen examples of un-restored boxes in antique shops for a similar cost. I would have no hesitation in recommending you to others and in fact have already done so. Best regards, Kevin – Portsmouth, UK. 7

Jackdaw Boxes

Feedback from Trevor: • Website very easy to use. Clear photographs and descriptions. Good to be

able to search by cost. • Customer service at its best. • All queries answered promptly, efficiently and in a friendly manner. • All recipients have been thrilled with the boxes. Quality of restoration is very

good. • Value for money. • All goods received have been as good as anticipated. • Would recommend without hesitation to others. •

Very pleasantly surprised by the personal service provided – almost a face to face shopping experience.

Trevor S. – Abergavenny, Monmouthshire. 8

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I was looking for a special gift for my son's 18th birthday - somewhere to store those precious bits and bobs. I had looked at new boxes but they just did not fit the bill. When I found your site, I knew I had struck gold. I loved the combination of the antique box given the modern twist with the choice of quality lining paper - really appropriate for a young man. The web site was easy to negotiate, clear and gave accurate information on your wide range of stock. I was pleasantly surprised by the affordability of your products given the unique nature of each box. After I had eventually chosen my favourite, the process was simple to buy it. The response to my email concerning the fairly tight deadline for delivery was quick and courteous. The box arrived promptly and was, I have to say, perfect! My son was thrilled and it has pride of place in his bedroom. I will be looking at the site again for that special gift, in fact there's one I'm putting on my wish list! I would recommend Jackdaw Boxes to anyone looking for a stylish gift, with a unique twist. It's up-cycling to the highest standard!

Thank you, Chris – Solihull.


Jackdaw Boxes

Restor Restoratio storation ation Examples Examples from EE- Mail Clients The most important aspect of this service is effective communication, whereby a client-led specification is arrived at, confirmed, costed and agreed. All of this can be carried out by e-mail. The illustrative examples which follow might help in your own decision-making regarding using our service.

Dear Jackdaw Boxes, I recently inherited a brass bound writing box (?) that belonged to my grandfather and would dearly love to have this restored to use myself for storing jewellery and keepsakes. It’s heavy (36 cm x 24 cm x 13 cm) & feels quite structurally sound although there are quite a few cracks in the veneer of the lid and the original insets (my mother thought they might have been mother of pearl originally) are missing. Something doesn’t feel quite right about the way the hinges open as the lid doesn’t open fully and the box can topple over as a result – it looks like there might have been a “home-grown” repair at some stage. There’s also loose piece of wood in the lid which was obviously attached to the interior leather at some stage, but I can’t quite figure out how or where. The interior green leather is gone very ragged, but the tray seems to still be in quite good condition – with 2 little metal handles at the end and green velvet pad with what looks like loops for 10

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holding pens? Could you take a look at the attached pics and let me know about the feasibility & cost estimate for restoring? I live in London and it’s not feasible for me to get to Somerset, but I’d be happy to courier it to you. Many thanks, Breda from North London Breda’s feedback: This writing box originally belonged to my grandfather, a man I never knew (he died before I was born) but about whom my siblings and I had heard many stories from our mother and aunts when we were growing up. He was born in rural Ireland in 1889 and became a creamery manager within a few years of starting his working life making butter boxes when he was just 14 years old. The writing box dates back to c. 1825 but nothing is known about who owned it before him. The box came into my possession shortly after our mother was diagnosed with a terminal illness. She presented the box to my husband and me with some ceremony and a clear expectation that we would ensure it was restored to some semblance of its former glory. At the time the exterior veneer was dull and cracked, brass bindings 11

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were missing, the escutcheons and lock were long-gone, and the green leather lining of the interior was ragged throughout. From the first time I contacted Jackdaw Boxes, I was impressed by their speedy and cordial responses. It was clear that they appreciated the enormous sentimental value the box held for me and my desire for the box to be restored while retaining a strong sense of its age and history. We exchanged a few emails and discussed various restoration options based on their initial assessment of my photos of the box which gave me a good sense of what could be done and for how much. On that basis, I was more than happy to post the precious box on. Within a couple of days, they came back to me with an updated assessment and suggestions for how to resolve the trickier issues like the problem of the missing escutcheon. I received samples of alternative materials, illustrations of the different possible outcomes that could be achieved and a clear indication of the impact of each option on the overall cost of the job. We settled on a final spec based around the creation of a new brass escutcheon & lock which I was confident would meet my aspiration of stabilizing the box for the future while staying true to the original character and design. While the restoration job was ongoing, they kept me informed with timely updates of progress. And then the day arrived when the courier delivered the restored box and I saw the beautiful job that been done for a very reasonable cost. I felt very proud to be able to share the before & after pictures with the rest of the family. With the help of Jackdaw Boxes, our mother’s wishes for her father’s writing box were fully met and that has value beyond measure. Breda


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I googled your lovely website & realised you are not too far away from where I live…….I have a wooden box which has been in my family for many, many years & I'd love to use it again as a jewellery or sewing box. Please can you cast your expert eye over the attached photos & let me know roughly how much you would charge to restore the box. As you'll see, the inside is in a poor way. I'd like a simple interior finish, there is a pencil note inside the box which reads 'cherry lining'. Look forward to hearing from you.

Many thanks, Mrs H. H

Thanks for your email - happy to help..... here's my testimonial: I was very pleased to find the Jackdaw Boxes website following an internet search for restoration of a jewellery box that has been in my family for many years & was needing some love & attention. I emailed photos & we discussed spec & approximate cost. I was able to deliver my box by hand, talking through how the box could be restored. Seeing other newly restored boxes & hand made interior papers at the Workshop gave me the idea for a funky interior which gives a lovely surprise when the box is opened! They suggested & made a lined box/shelf to sit on top for rings etc which is perfect. I had every confidence that they would do a great job & I continue to be absolutely delighted with the results. I know my box will be cherished for many generations to come. Very many thanks…..Mrs.H.H

Flax Bourton, North Somerset 13

Jackdaw Boxes

Hi - please find attached various angles of said item for restoration. Mother of pearl inlay damaged on corners and in small areas, what might be 'bone' lip on the edge of the tiers of the box need repair and one hinge, general clean and corners of box glued and repaired – thanks- Joe

Joe’s feedback:

I found an antique box in a market, hand carved with ivory inlay,

hinge broken, bits missing, lovely but in a sorry state. I liked it and Christmas was coming up, I thought it would make an unusual present for my partner. I had to show it to her, she loved it, but what to do? An internet search and I found Jackdaw Boxes, so I sent an e-mail with some pictures. They followed this up with some history of the item and we discussed the plan and (very reasonable) costs. I found service to be excellent, and when they found some ivory edging that was more suitable than discussed, their passion showed. The quality of the work done is superb, exactly what we wanted, with no ideas imposed (only suggested) nor any of the arrogance you can find with some specialists. The whole experience was exemplary and I would recommend them wholeheartedly,

Joe – North London


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Hello - I have a writing box, mostly as described in your webpage, i.e. writing slope, "hidden drawers", and it is rather old I think. I am making an enquiry as I would very much like to have it restored to a better condition. The main problem is the broken hinges. At the moment I can't find the key but am still searching, the metal straps over the top of the box have raised up and the navy blue leather which joins the two halves of the box is torn in half but just about acceptable. What would be your rough estimate to rectify the above from the brief description of the restoration needed? If that is beyond what I can manage do you sell the little hinges which it mainly needs. I am attaching some photos, the size of the hinges are approximately 11mm x 62mm x about 1mm thick. If you think it necessary I could post you one of the broken hinges. I live in France, however, it is possible on my next trip over to leave it with you for restoration if the estimate is good. Look forward to hearing from you. Regards - Judith


Jackdaw Boxes

Judith’s feedback: When I decided to have my writing box lovingly restored I found Jackdaw boxes on the first page of my internet search - not knowing quite where to start. On contacting them by e-mail and seeing their video I didn't hesitate to entrust my box to them. I explained the areas which I wanted restoring and was confident through e-mail and telephone communication that they would do it with care and understanding of my needs. Due to the fact that I don't live in the UK they worked with me and helped me achieve the level of restoration I was after and were extremely helpful and obliging. When I saw my box in its restored state I was very happy with the result and feel that it can be passed onto the next generation as a useful and handsome item. It was worth every penny! Judith L.

Bordeaux, France


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Clients Visiting the the Workshop Clients have found us relatively easy to visit on their journeys to and through the South-West of England. You will find a location map on our main Web Shop site. We can be fairly flexible in accommodating visits, so long as we are contacted in advance and confirmed a mutually agreeable appointment.

Some clients prefer to visit our Box Room and Workshop prior to any purchase. Once here, in the case of renovation-work, a client-led specification is arrived at in the same manner as with e-mail clients. Any meeting will be followed-up with e-mail confirmation and if needed further clarification. What follows are examples of the experiences from those who have visited us.


Jackdaw Boxes

Jo’s feedback: I was given an old sewing box buy my mother-in-law recently which had belonged to her mother. The box whilst sound on the outside was in very poor state internally and desperately in need of some restoration to bring back into use for myself. I'd discovered Jackdaw Boxes during an internet search and after making contact with them I arranged to discuss restoration options. Upon meeting them both I immediately felt at ease as their knowledge and understanding of my requirements were properly explained and we soon agreed a specification for the project. Within a few days I received confirmation by email of the specification, labour and materials and within a week I had a surprise email informing me that the box was ready. Upon collection, I was greeted by friendly faces who talked me through the refurbishment work that went into the box, they even kept the old linings for me, and presented a CD of the restoration project, start to finish. They certainly provide an air of confidence and trust with the customer, a most enjoyable experience. So now l have a lovely box that is usable for another 100 years, that puts a smile on my face every time I open it, and in turn I can hand it down. I'd say that's good value!

Jo C - Somerset


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I found the experience of buying from you absolutely charming, you spoke with passion about your boxes and combined with your cottage and location my wife and I found the all round experience excellent. If you recall we found your website on the internet and whilst down in Devon we called in on you on the way back to the North therefore our only real usage of your web site was to put us in contact with you and see what you were about. In terms of product I feel your boxes meet a demand and for myself it set a wheel in motion that is still revolving as my wife and I now regularly visit antique fairs and have amassed quite a collection of Victoriana ranging from a games Tantalus complete with period games ( cards, draughts, chess, dominoes etc), through silver pocket watches, alberts, sovereign cases, vesta cases and pens. So you can see what our visit last summer did to us!!!

Geoffe H - Northumberland


Jackdaw Boxes

My boyfriend is an exceptionally hard person to buy for; the problematic “man who has everything”. For his 30th birthday, I was looking for something really special; something he could keep forever and was unique. I had thought of the idea of a writing box for some time, but had no idea where to find one. I was amazed when I stumbled upon Jackdaw Boxes online. I was immediately impressed by the level of detail and wide range of beautifully restored boxes they had readily available. Being a considered purchase, I was keen to see the boxes first hand before buying one. I exchanged several emails with them who was quick to respond inviting me to his workshop in Somerset. It was quite a drive from London, but I hadn’t seen any boxes to this standard anywhere else, so jumped in the car on a Saturday to visit. I had thought I would just pop in for 15 minutes, choose a box and head back to Town. Two hours later, I had finally narrowed my decision down to one box! Throughout the process, they were exceptionally helpful, giving the history of each and answering any questions. On his 30th birthday, the writing box was announced ‘the best present he had ever received’ (I also had some personalised stationary made to go inside) and it now takes pride of place on the study desk. I love the idea that the box has had a new lease of life, and we have started a new tradition; as the box can be passed on to new generations. If you are looking for a unique and very special gift, I couldn’t recommend Jackdaw Boxes highly enough. Susan D.

West London


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The 2 Walnut boxes I brought to Jackdaw Boxes belonged to my mother and she always treasured them. I believe they had belonged to her mother. They date back to around 1860 I believe. One was originally a writing slope, although over the years the inside tray and the actual writing slope had disappeared and the box had become rather tired, with some broken wood, a missing mother of pearl decoration and numerous chips and dents. The second box has a lovely curved lid and had been used as a jewellery box but again was damaged internally - my dear mother having tried to disguise this with prolific use of pink Fablon! When my father agreed that I could get the boxes restored I desperately wanted to do so, so that they could continue to be treasured items in the family. My idea was to restore the writing slope as far as possible and to refurbish and perhaps convert the second box to one we could use to house our maj jong set.


Jackdaw Boxes

I found Jackdaw Boxes through an internet search. I got the impression that these were people who really cared about restoring boxes and so it proved. They have a real passion and care so much about ensuring their clients get what they want. What I had not expected but was so impressed with, was the time they took to explore all the options and suggest alternatives for us to consider. Everything from the choice of lining paper and leather, to the choice of decoration and the materials used to effect necessary repairs was meticulously covered. They sent us an e mail with details of what we had discussed, for us to take our time before we decided on the final brief. The attention to detail was amazing and they made the whole process easy and pleasant, making sure we were happy at every stage.

They kept in touch throughout the process of renovating our boxes, letting us know how things were progressing. They dealt quickly with any queries. They take such pride in their work. The project was completed earlier than I had expected and to an exceptional standard. When I raised a small query with them he went away and worked on an alternative to see if I preferred it. This attention to detail is so rare these days. 22

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I went to Jackdaw Boxes with 2 battered and damaged but much-loved boxes. I have come away with two beautiful heirlooms. The writing slope has been restored so beautifully that I smile every time I use it. The second box has also been restored to its original beauty but they have ingeniously made a lift- out inner box and trays so that we can use it to house our Maj -Jong set without interfering with the actual fabric of the original box. I could not recommend Jackdaw Boxes highly enough. They are very professional and friendly and clearly love their craft. They can be trusted absolutely to work magic on poor old battered boxes, keeping the fabric of a box intact and renovating carefully and sympathetically so the history and originality of the box is retained. Perfect! Liz & Steve – Somerset


Jackdaw Boxes

Having recently sorted out a family house we came across an intriguing writing slope which was in a very sorry state but looked as though it might be quite unique in terms of the number of compartments, secret drawers and brass fittings with all sorts of uses. I googled “writing slopes” and immediately up popped the very attractive Jackdaw site. I was immediately drawn to the fact that, although situated in an idyllic Somerset village, the workshop is only a few miles off the A303, right on our route between London and Devon. We arranged a visit in April, which was fascinating. They spent ages discussing our box with us and agreeing the way forward. We gave the go ahead, and over the next few weeks they were in touch with a string of emails as we talked about the various options in the restoration of what has become a beautiful, treasure and family heirloom. It is brilliant and much admired already.

Peter B. – Harrow, Middlesex


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Peter’s writing box after renovation


From the evidence of these examples of feedback, we would seem to be doing what we have set out to do: • We are effectively connecting with people who want a unique object in their home. • They want this object to have a purpose - and to convey a meaning for and about them. • Their intention is that this can be achieved through an object which they may or may not have had previously in their possession.

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To see boxes for sale on the Web Shop go to: If you want a box restored, contact Helen or Adrian at: Jackdaw Boxes is subsidiary of FourthR Limited 27

Company No.4451862

Customer & Client Feedback  

A catalogue of reactions/experiences of clients of Jackdaw Boxes - we restore and sell antique boxes