FAQ’s 2017-10-23T11:41:19+00:00
Do i have to pay Custom Duties on your goods? 2017-10-23T11:34:49+00:00

Your country may impose import duty charges. You WILL have to pay for this, it is not up to us to cover any fees incurred. This is beyond our control.

Do i have to pay VAT if i live outside of the UK but not in Europe? 2017-10-23T11:34:25+00:00

Customers from U.S.A, Australia and any other country not in the European Union do NOT need to pay UK V.A.T. at the current rate provided that we have evidence of export by sending goods directly to you or to a shipper. Tracked and insured delivery by a courier company can also be arranged at cost if required.

If I am part of the European Union do i have to pay VAT? 2017-10-23T11:32:29+00:00

If you are a business and have a V.A.T number recognised by the European Union for inter-state business, we will not charge you U.K. V.A.T.

Please provide your VAT number at check out in the box provided and the UK V.A.T will be removed from your purchase.

Other European Union customers who do not have a business or a valid V.A.T number will pay U.K V.A.T. at the current rate (Except for Catalogues and Matchmaker Supplements).

Delivery and packaging will be based on the value and weight of the order. Tracked and insured delivery by a courier company can also be arranged at cost if required.

Can I pay in my own currency? 2017-10-23T11:31:52+00:00

Optimum Brasses Limited is an English Company and we invoice in Pounds Sterling (£s). An approximate price equivalent in your own currency can be supplied on request.

May I have a Professional Discount? 2017-10-23T11:29:27+00:00

Yes, but you would need to prove that you make your living, or run a business, that supplies what we make to your customers as part of that business. There is an on-line application form here (please click link). We will check all details and references.

How do I fit these handles or knobs? They’re not like the ones you can buy in a store. 2017-10-23T11:28:45+00:00

Old timber is brittle. Always drill a hole to avoid splitting.

For pommels or posts or other items having a thread and nut, drill a hole, or slightly extend an existing hole, so that the thread is an easy push fit.

If the drawer-front is cupped at the back, thin, snipe-nosed pliers may be needed to do up the nut. The nuts and threads are direct copies of the original ones and, if loose, it is sometimes necessary to ovalise the nuts slightly by squeezing them.

Flat escutcheons and, sometimes, the backplates of bail or pull handles, contain small holes for escutcheon pins. Drill a hole slightly smaller than the shanks of the pins in the timber before gently knocking in the pins.

Some knobs, or other items have integral wood-screws; and some items have holes for screws to attach them to the wood. In both cases drill a hole slightly smaller than the outside diameter of the thread. A little glue on the thread can help. It is good restoration practice to use a reversible glue.

How can I be sure that you are right when you describe a handle or fitting as being of a particular date or period? 2017-10-23T11:20:33+00:00

The short answer is that, for the most part, you can’t be sure. Unlike –say- silver, fully documented, dateable pieces of furniture are rare , and dateable pieces with original brasswork rarer still. Added to which some handle designs were used for decades , or even centuries. Also there are time lags between town furniture and country furniture as well as differences between English and American furniture. There is little certainty either in dating furniture from its brass or vice versa. In most cases, all we can give you is an informed guess. If any customer has definite dating evidence on a particular item, please let us know.

Is your hardware made at low cost overseas? 2017-10-23T11:19:56+00:00

Definitely not. We are an English business and everything is made in England by English craftspeople.

Why is the brass that you have sent me coloured? 2017-10-23T11:19:32+00:00

Old brass handles mature to a beautiful, mellow colour. The surface slowly oxidises which, together with subtle wear from handling and tiny residues of varnish, polish and dust, results in a varied character known as patination. This is the look and feel for which Optimum aims.

If you would like the colour to be lighter, we suggest that you fit the handles first. Then, if you want the fittings to be a little brighter, softly high-light with very fine wire wool or metal polish. By fitting the handles first, the parts of the fitting which a duster or hand would not have reached on an antique handle will not be reached on our replica.

On the other hand, if you would really prefer the handles to be bright and shiny all over, we can send them to you like that if you tell us when you order. We do not lacquer.

What is brass? 2017-10-23T11:17:33+00:00

Brass is a mixture, or alloy, of copper and zinc. (Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin ). Most items that you can buy currently are made of a modern version of brass that also contains silicone. Because of this, the items are cheaper to make and have a permanent shiny surface. We do not use silicone brass as our fittings are authentic copies of antique ones.

What are delivery costs? 2017-10-23T11:17:06+00:00

Before you make a purchase please refer to our list outlining delivery/ shipping costs. Please click here to see our Postage and Shipping information.

If you don’t see your country listed, we can obtain a delivery quote for you.

Can i return my order for a refund if i change my mind? 2017-10-23T11:15:24+00:00

Yes, you may cancel your order (contract), without reason, within 28 days and return the goods to us within a further 14 days. For full details of how to return please click here and see our dedicated page for returns. Please also see the Terms and Conditions.

Can you invoice my customer rather than me? 2017-10-23T11:14:59+00:00

Usually yes, as long as your customer has paid. Also see answer about VAT exempt exports. Normally, a receipted invoice will be sent to your customer by post or email, and an advice note will be sent to you with the goods. Unless your customer is registered with us as a fully compliant Professional Customer, he or she would be charged at our Standard Price.

Can an order be sent to a different address than my own? 2017-10-23T11:13:59+00:00

Yes, as long as payment has been received. However, orders exempt from VAT because they are export orders must be actually exported by us or UK VAT must be paid.

Can I change an order that I have already made on-line? 2017-10-23T11:13:07+00:00

If you want to make a change within a very short period of time, this could usually be done. Preferably, telephone at once, and we will help you if we can.