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FAQs

Who are you?
Astor & Mallet is a sister company of Agrell Architectural Carving, one of the world's premier custom woodcarving companies. Astor & Mallet gives architects, decorators, cabinet shops, furniture makers, carpenters, and homeowners the opportunity to acquire the finest hand-carved ornamental woodwork and architectural woodcarving at affordable prices while also bypassing the custom process. 

Hand-carved? What does that mean?
We never use machines to carve our products, and never will. From start to finish, we use the same hand tools and techniques handed down through generations of artisans. Only hand-carving produces the crisp detail, elaborate undercutting, and organic flow that discerning customers expect.

Other companies may claim their products are hand-carved, but that's rarely the case. Typically, machines do the bulk of the work and then the piece is sometimes cleaned up by hand. It never looks right. We invite you to compare the quality of their products with ours.

If I send you a design, can you make it?
All projects that require custom woodcarving are handled by Agrell Architectural Carving. Please contact them directly for a bid.

Do you keep any products in stock?
No. In order to keep our prices down and to offer you with an exhaustive range of sizes, all items are made to order. 

Why don't you offer complete crown moulding profiles?
Our mouldings are shaped to the most elemental profiles so you can integrate them easily into your own custom millwork. For most architects and woodworkers, this approach offers far more flexibility when designing custom cornices and other trim projects. Of course, you can use any of our mouldings on their own; a Cyma Recta moulding, for example, can stand alone as a cornice. Read more about our mouldings.

How long will my order take?
Hand-carving is a time-consuming and labor-intensive process because each individual order is laid out and then carved by a skilled artisan. However, the lead time is no longer than eight weeks, and in most cases we'll ship your order within three weeks. We'll let you know if there are any delays.

How do you keep your prices low?
We can produce these carvings at a more affordable price than custom carving because a) there is far less design work and project management involved; b) our products are made-to-order so there is no wasting time and resources producing items we can't sell; c) our woodcarvers are highly trained to efficiently carve designs they are familiar with.

Can you tell me about your workshop?
Our workshop is located in West Bengal, India. We currently employ around 20 full-time carvers, each classically trained by Master Carver Ian Agrell, the principal at Agrell Architectural Carving. Most of our artisans have more than 20 years experience carving in the classical tradition.

Where do you ship and how much do you charge?
We use FedEx, which means we can ship to virtually anywhere in the world. However, if you wish to ship outside the US, please contact us first to avoid unexpected import/VAT fees. Overseas customers who don't contact us before ordering will be responsible for any import/VAT fees.

Otherwise, shipping costs are based on a percentage—never more than 7 percent—of the order total. In most cases, we ship directly from our workshop in India.

Do you have a minimum order?
To keep our manufacturing and shipping process cost-efficient, we have a minimum order requirement of $250. Don't worry, you'll hit that pretty quickly.

Do you offer wholesale pricing?
Astor & Mallet offers discounts of up to 25 percent to architects, designers, contractors, cabinet shops, carpenters, and many other trades. To access this special pricing, please call us at (718) 593-4411 or send a copy of your business card or website URL to info@astorandmallet.com. Once approved, you will receive a unique discount code for use at checkout.

What wood do you use?
We currently use a wood called Gmelina, which is a high-quality stain-grade, furniture-grade timber. Read more about it here. If you require carvings in another wood species, please contact Agrell Architectural Carving for a custom order.

What is your return policy? 
Generally, we don't accept returns unless we send you the wrong item or it is badly damaged.

Because our work is carved entirely by hand, slight variances in design are considered acceptable—and for most clients, even preferable. In keeping with tradition, we typically don't sand our woodcarving; instead, the artisan's tools burnish the surface.

In addition, because of the unpredictable organic nature of wood, you may see slight variations in color, as well as slight checking, tiny knots, and small amounts of filler. You may also see variations in width dimensions of up to 1/8 inch on mouldings, finials, corbels, and capitals, and up to 1/4 inch on appliques and panels. Mouldings may show slight warping along their lengths; panels may show slight cupping along their widths. In almost all cases, these issues can be rectified during installation. Larger pieces may be glued up from two or more pieces, so you may see thin-as-hair glue lines. We consider all these conditions typical and acceptable for millwork products.

If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, please contact us. In most cases, we can help resolve the issue without you having to return your carving.