Brought to Book: First Editions From Jones Brothers
Stuff your Kindles and e-readers, if it’s not written on very old dead tree, it’s not worthy of the name.
‘The Personal History, Adventures, Experience and Observation of David Copperfield the Younger of Blunderstone Rookery (Which He Never Meant to Publish on Any Account)’, read the illustrated black and (off) -white cover. Being an original 1850 edition – the newspaper serialisation had only ended in November of that year – the book’s full, original title was surrounded by depictions of Dickens’ multitudinous cast. Rare indeed. Charlie Jones knew that this old, slightly tatty book, for sale on a stall in Portobello Market, might be worth more than was being asked for it. He was hooked.
‘David Copperfield’ may have been Charlie’s first First Edition, but he’s gone on to make it his business to get the very best examples of these rare treasures into the hands of those that will love and value them. As well as older fiction, he went on to extend his collection of later 20th Century Literature (called ‘Modern Firsts’ in the industry), which is now the core of the business – The Jones Brothers Books. Where’s there’s a bros, there’s a brother.
Joe Jones supports the business as sales manager with some other part-time staff. Focusing on books which are instantly recognisable by both their titles and their covers, the company recognise that image is important and is inherent in the beauty of an old book.
“Up to 90% of the book’s value is held within the fragile dust wrapper so in our trade you really should judge a book by it’s cover,” says Charlie. “A first edition of Ian Fleming’s first novel ‘Casino Royale’ from 1953 is worth a few thousand pounds without the dust wrapper. However if you are lucky enough to find one with a dust wrapper in very good condition, the book might be worth as much as £50,000.”
That’s proper paper money. However, you have to be able to, if you’ll excuse a pertinent pun, read the market. “Picking books for their investment potential is also something we specialise in. 30 years ago you could have bought the previously mentioned £50k Fleming book for just £1,000. That’s a phenomenal price increase compared to other assets in that period.”
Forget the image of a stuffy old bookseller. The Jones Brothers are very much a service for the Digital Age. They’re contactable all hours of the day and will go out of their way to source the perfect books for customers. They work with interior designers, too – part of their vision to make books appreciated for their beauty as well as their content. 5 star hotels, Presidential suites, superyachts and £20 million apartments may have all benefited from the Jones’ nose for a worthy tome, but they also source relatively inexpensive books for gifts, Christenings and new collectors.
Currently embarking on a new project to design, produce and sell framed books, they use museum quality glass and sealed frames to protect the valuable artifacts from light, dust and pollutants. Whether you’re seeking advice on a first purchase, or a seasoned collector who wants to find a limited edition coffee-table book – The Jones Brothers should be the first place you browse. As much a members club, as well as an online shop, upon your first purchase the brothers will welcome you into the Premium Club, giving you access to super rare books as well as notifications of listings before anyone else. We suspect you won’t be using your bedtime reading as a mug stand ever again.
Buyers can contact The Jones Brothers directly by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.