H: 40 in / 102 cm | W: 41 in / 104 cm | D: 15 in / 38 cmDescription
A Side Cabinet in the Transitional Manner
By François Linke
Constructed from kingwood and amaranth, the side cabinet of a design traditionally described as a meuble d'appui, extensively ormolu-mounted, of rectangular form with concave sides, rising from cabriole legs with acanthus leaf sabots and espagnolettes, the trapezoidal central panel exhibiting complex cubed parquetry work delineated within ormolu borders, the sides decorated in a conforming manner, with an inset Breccia marble top above the double-register ormolu frieze of scrolling foliage with a central trophy plaque. The lockplate stamped by the maker.
French, circa 1900
This commode is a fine example of Linke's smallest reinterpretation of the famous Riesener Fontainebleau commode. A watercolour for the side cabinet is in the Linke archives under the index number 1036.
François Linke (1855-1946)
François Linke is considered to be one of the finest ebenistes and bronziers of the 19th century. He moved from Pankratz, Bohemia where he completed his apprenticeship under the strictest of training, to Paris in 1875-76, eventually setting up shop in the prestigious Place Vendome, and with his workshops in the faubourg Saint Antoine, he quickly attracted a wealthy clientele, appreciative of the excellence of his work. Specialising in the style of the ancien regime and modifying the proportions of the original works to suit the smaller Parisian apartments, he was an exhibitor at all the major expositions of the early twentieth century, making his debut at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1900.
Payne, Christopher. Paris Furniture: The Luxury Market of the 19th Century. Château de Saint-Rémy: Éditions Monelle Hayot, 2018, p. 438, illustrating the original design and a related cabinet.
Born in Pankraz, Bohemia, Francois Linke (1855-1946) is considered to be the finest exponent of Parisian cabinet making of ‘Le Belle Epoque’. Drawing inspiration from the finest cabinet makers of the 18th Century, his association with the sculptor Leon Message resulted in highly original designs, with the emphasis on practicality and work of the very highest quality. To this end he succeeded, surpassing the efforts of the brilliant work of the Dasson, Zweiner, Sormani at the 1900 Paris Universelle Exposition, receiving the highest accolades, and prizes. His company became world renowned, and orders came from Europe, America, and Africa; he sold over a thousand items to the King of Egypt. Throughout the reign of the company, Linke’s attention to detail was remarkable; one of the tests he employed in his quality control, was to take a cigarette paper, and if it would slide between a door for example, and the frame, the piece was rejected as below par.REF No. 9596