Mr. John Edward Clark
167 North Street
Westport, CT 06880
I am very pleased to be able to write this letter of recommendation to you for your very fine restoration of my grandmother’s Victorian dining room table. My table has been given new life thanks to your careful and painstaking workmanship.
This table has been in my family since my grandmother’s marriage in 1890 and it was always a part of her life and now it is a part of my life. It, therefore, is very dear to me and to see the transformation is uplifting and an affirmation of your fine skill as an artist and craftsman. I don’t know how you did it!! You have a gift and I am so grateful to you.
Many thanks again. You are a joy to work with and I look forward to more projects with you in the future.
Mr. John Edward Clark
167 North Ave.
Westport, CT 06880
I hope you've had a chance to recover from your drives between Rye and Westport, as well as the incredible effort you exerted with loving care on our antiques. What you and your father accomplished was special! As you know, some of the pieces you worked on were more than 300 years old. You did a great job of protecting their character and charm, while providing them with new vitality and vibrancy.
Please extend Susan's and my thanks to your father, who should be proud of the work he did with you on the William and Mary chest. (I called his office number and left a message of thanks, but don't know if he got it.)
The Queen Anne chest-on-chest secretaire is just awesome! It reflects the outstanding effort of a genuine craftsman. The same quality effort has made all of our pieces come to life, from the chests upstairs to the tables downstairs. (I'm glad I remembered to show you the cherry table in the family room!)
Thank you, once again, for a job well done! We'll look forward to seeing you when we get back to the mountains.
P.S. Hope you enjoyed the fish... How was the shark?
P.P.S. Please let me know the name and number of the appraiser we discussed.
Over the last few years, John Edward Clark has repaired and restored several pieces of furniture of great sentimental value to me because many of them once belonged to my late mother.
He reassembled and refinished the intricate wooden frame of an antique mirror which my mother bought in Italy in the early 1960's and imported to the US. The mirror, which once hung in the living room of our family home, had fallen damaging the frame. Until I met John, I had given up hope of ever seeing it on the wall again. It now hangs in our house, with John's fine repairs to the frame completely undetectable.
He removed a tremendous amount of mold, cleaned, treated and restored dry rot in an Early American cradle which my mother purchased in Vermont in the 1960's, not only resolving problems which might eventually have destroyed the cradle but turning it into a showpiece.
John repaired damage predating my ownership of a British officer's campaign chest which I purchased at auction in the 1980's. Again he removed mold and finely repaired splits in the wood which prior owners had crudely and grossly repaired. Its drawers now open smoothly and completely and my wife and I use it happily and proudly in our bedroom.
He disassembled and restored from the ground up a Secretaire which my mother purchase in Italy in the 1960's, brought back to the US, and used as her desk from the time I was a child. Its drawers open smoothly and easily and the doors on the storage space under the writing tablet close and lock precisely for the first time in its history with our family.
But for me, his masterwork is and will always remain his restoration of the kitchen table in my parents' home. Made of solid maple, it once belonged to my great grand-parents. The purchased it, I believe early in the 20th century and raised their eight children—my grandmother among them—around it. Long after my great grandparents passing, my mother rescued it from a dingy storage place and my parents used it as our kitchen table as I grew up.
I don't consider it an extraordinary piece worthy of inclusion in any museum collection. But by his work, John not only restored the full function of the table, but turned it from a useful, dark, orangey old table of sentimental value to me for its history, into a beautiful light-colored object which my family and I use as our dining room table. John made it magnificent and it has become a focal point of our home.
In addition to his beautiful work, John has scrupulously hewed to his commitments, returning pieces to us as promised from the outset of his work.
John has also been generous with his broad knowledge of furniture history and structure and in identifying the origins and likely provenance of the old pieces which we live with. I strongly recommend John to anyone seeking fine, museum-quality restoration of a cherished or valuable piece of furniture based on his work for my family and me.