RG: You have run Jorgensen Fine Art for many years, when you were in Molesworth Street and now here in the Hibernian Way but where and when did you first start collecting furniture?
IJ: I first started collecting in my 30s which was in the late 1960s. In Dublin I bought mostly from dealers such as Ronnie McDonnell in Kildare Street and Willie Dillon, in fact some of the lots that are in the auction are from this time so I have had them for more than 40 years, for example the gilt wood stool and the inlaid Pembroke table. At auction I purchased mainly from Sotheby’s, Christie’s and Philips in London.
RG: In considering buying an item what was it that you were looking at, was it the style, the date, the period, the condition?
IJ: It was of course the condition, but most importantly, because I consider myself to have an architectural eye, it was the proportion and the quality of the piece.
RG: You were involved in interior design to quite an extent as well so when you were looking for a piece to work for a collector’s individual taste or in a certain environment, did you find that different from you own taste, or did people come to you because they liked your taste?
IJ: The thing is that they came to me to be guided by taste and if I recommended something they would buy it. I decorated a house in Majorca which in part was done in the traditional way, but I also had a completely modern room designed there, with Barcelona furniture, so there was the sharpness of one room with the very traditional look of the other.
RG: Now that you are moving do you feel that this is the end of your collecting?
IJ: No, I have a couple of people that I am currently working with, helping them select the furniture for their houses and suggesting ideas to them.
And of course I am moving into a smaller flat and so am working on that. I have selected both modern and traditional for it. As long as you select sympathetically and with balance then the concept of old and modern can live together.
RG: And do you have one piece of parting advice?
I.J: One mustn’t overcrowd a room or make it too sparse. I believe a room should be extremely comfortable and beautiful at the same time and this is something that I also strive to achieve.