Finding Edmund Jorgensen

by George Schwab

Finding Edmund Jorgensen

About a year ago Barbara and I found two rosewood coffee tables that had ceramic tiles set into the entire top. They were in the warehouse of one of our Danish importers. We bought them on the spot. The tiles were attractive, they were rosewood and the price was reasonable. I asked the importer if they were attributed to any particular designer and he replied that he didn’t know. So, rosewood, attractive tiles, reasonable price, what could go wrong?

Coffee table designed by  Edmund Jorgensen before removing the tiles.

Well, we got them to our warehouse and set them aside to process the rest of the order where there were a number of important pieces that we had been searching for over the years. The coffee tables sat there for quite awhile as we were getting MidMod Décor off the ground. Then, a few weeks ago, we pulled out those coffee tables and decided to deal with them. On a close examination they weren’t quite what we expected. The tiles on the blue table were plain porcelain with a blue decal on them and some of the decals were damaged, so the table couldn’t be sold in a condition that met MidMod standards. Bummer! And the brown ceramic tiles were actually vinyl from the 50s! Bummer x 2!

What to do? Chris, Barbara and I sat down and brainstormed the problem and came up with the idea to remove the tiles and replace them with a complimentary wood veneer insert. The next time we were at our cabinetmaker Ed’s workshop, I put the idea to him and he was just fine with it and we worked out some of the technicalities. I love design details.

Edmund Jorgensen signature revealed when the tile surface was removed from the coffee table.

A few weeks later when I started to remove the tiles I discovered, beneath the tiles, paper strips with what I believe to be construction directions and in the corner a strip of paper that said Edmund Jorgensen. Bingo!

I ran to my computer, ran a Google search and discovered very little. Initially, I found that he was a Danish cabinetmaker that worked out of Nakskov a town in southern Denmark. It seems that he collaborated with Jens Quistgaard on some of his designs. The best references for his work can be found in the Danish auction houses. We discovered that the kidney shaped nesting tables we recently acquired are by him also.

Kidney shaped nesting tables designed by Edmund Jorgensen.

This is all I’ve been able to gather on this lesser known Danish designer and cabinetmaker. If any of our readers out there know more about Edmund Jorgensen, please contact me by email. I’d really like to know more.

The next thing I’m interested in discovering is what I’ll find under the vinyl tiles on the other coffee table we bought that day last year.