Mail Boxes Etc. UK & Ireland's blog

Sweet smell of success

Local firm hand-picked to ship precious Art Deco scent bottles for Italian collector

Sheffield businessman Frank Bigley ships a lot of antiques for local auction houses, but when he was asked to send an exquisite collection of Art Deco scent bottles to a collector in Italy, he knew all his expertise would be needed.

“The bottles date from 1910-1920 and they’re in amazing condition,” says Frank, who owns the Mail Boxes Etc. store at 88 Queen Street, Sheffield.  

“The shipment consisted of several lots won in a sale at Wilkinson’s Auctioneers, Doncaster, by a single collector.  When I went to collect the bottles, I was amazed at how fragile they are and how well-preserved.  Some of them had the original droppers inside, and some still had a little perfume in them too, which of course I had to carefully extract before shipment, as perfume is highly flammable.”

To preserve each delicate bottle, the stoppers had to be removed and each item separately wrapped in acid-free tissue before being protected by special packing materials and carefully boxed for safe transit.  

Matt Gibson, manager at Wilkinson’s, knew he had chosen the right man for the task:  “We’ve worked with Frank and his team for years,” he says. “They do a really good job, both on the practical and customer-facing aspects of auction shipping, and we often recommend them to our buyers.”

The team are now gearing up for a busy December, packing and sending customers’ Christmas parcels of all shapes and sizes to UK and worldwide destinations.  “And after a consignment like this,” concludes Frank, “I’d say there’s nothing we can’t handle!”

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