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    Sale 1983

    19th Century Furniture, Sculpture, Works of Art And Ceramics

    9 April 2008, New York, Rockefeller Plaza

  • Lot 97

    A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED PLUM-PUDDING MAHOGANY BED

    BY FRANÇOIS LINKE, PARIS, INDEX NO. 672, CIRCA 1921

    Price Realised  

    A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED PLUM-PUDDING MAHOGANY BED
    BY FRANÇOIS LINKE, PARIS, INDEX NO. 672, CIRCA 1921
    The bowed headboard surmounted by a putto seated among reeds and bulrush, over a patera-inset guilloche frieze, the angles headed with Bacchic masks and scrolled acanthus volutes with trailing grapevines, the serpentine footboard surmounted by floral garlands, over a ribbon-suspended laurel wreath and acanthus-sheathed cornucopiae, joined by straight rails centred with blossoming foliage, on toupie feet, the mounts variously stamped FL and LINKE with various numbers
    74 in. (188 cm.) high; 71½ in. (181.5 cm.) wide; 86 5/8 in. (220 cm.) long


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    As noted by Christopher Payne, no description exists for index number 672 in the Linke's Price Lists, nor do the Blue Daybooks give any indication of its design; the only existing record of output lies in a photographic cliché of a similarly designed commode à vantaux. Interestingly, the aforementioned commode, bearing both the same plum-pudding mahogany veneer and cornucopia design as the present footboard, was sold at Sotheby's New York, 24 October 2007 ($121,000). The commode, supplied almost certainly for Don Antonio Devoto, an Italian-born collector and one of Linke's most fervent admirers, raises questions concerning the uniqueness of the design and the likelihood that Devoto may have commissioned a companion piece or suite.

    Adding to the rarity of the commode and the apparent companion bedstead is the unusual application of Léon Méssage's putto surmount, more familiarly associated with Linke's Louis XV-inspired furnishings; prime examples being his Bahut marine and another meuble d'appui completed for the 1905 Liège Exhibition (See C. Payne, Woodbridge, 2003, p. 81 & 187). However, the union of the Louis XVI form with this particular mount is not singular; a double bed (Index No. 662) incorporating the same mount and an identically shaped headboard was ordered in 1922 for the Queen 's bedchamber at Ras al-Tin palace in Alexandria, Egypt at a cost of 36,000 Francs (Payne op. cit., p. 278).

    Pre-Lot Text

    Property of a Private Collector, Los Angeles, California (Lots 97 & 98)


    Literature

    C. Payne, François Linke, 1855-1946 - The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003.