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Toby Jones of Jones Antique Lighting.

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1 What are the origins of the business?

My parents launched it in 1979, initially trading on Portobello Road before taking a small space in a cellar of an antiques gallery on Westbourne Grove. In 1982 (when I was born) the shop above became available and my parents decided to specialise in lighting.

In 1995 they separated, splitting the business: my mother stayed at Westbourne Grove trading as Jones Lighting until her death in 2009, while my father traded as The Lamp Gallery on New Kings Road until 2005.

I inherited my mother’s side of the business and was able to bring both businesses back together as Jones Antique Lighting.

2 What is one little-known fact about dealing?

I have traded for the past 10 years selling solely through our website. There is a misconception that clients need to see what they are buying before making a purchase. This simply isn’t the case. We have had one return in 10 years from a customer not happy with their purchase and nine times out of 10 when the item arrives, it exceeds expectations.

3 What is one rule to live by as a dealer?

Integrity in a piece is everything. It is our moral obligation to make sure a piece is correct, whether it be worth £100 or £100,000.

If something has been messed about with then steer clear of it. If you wouldn’t buy it back off your customer at a later date, don’t sell it.

4 What is your favourite fair?

The Decorative Antiques & Textiles Fair at Battersea where I exhibit regularly. Great vibe and streets ahead of all other fairs. They continue to just get it right.

5 One object you couldn’t do without?

My porcelain piglet. He’s probably not worth very much but he’s priceless to me. Mum absolutely adored pigs and always threatened to get one as a pet. I grew up with this one at Westbourne Grove.

I subsequently adore pigs too and – quite by coincidence with no influence from me – my five-year-old daughter Rose loves pigs too.

I like to think it’s the little bit of my mum running through her.


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