A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY CONSOLE TABLE
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY CONSOLE TABLE
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY CONSOLE TABLE
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A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY CONSOLE TABLE
7 More
Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s F… Read more THE PROPERTY OF A PRIVATE NEW YORK COLLECTOR
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY CONSOLE TABLE

BY FRANCOIS LINKE, THE MOUNTS DESIGNED BY LEON MESSAGE, PARIS, CIRCA 1900-1905

Details
A FRENCH ORMOLU-MOUNTED MAHOGANY CONSOLE TABLE
BY FRANCOIS LINKE, THE MOUNTS DESIGNED BY LEON MESSAGE, PARIS, CIRCA 1900-1905
The beveled serpentine fleur de pêcher marble top above an undulating frieze centered by a coquille and cascading water, on cabriole legs headed by alternating male and female busts, the tapering lets joined by a serpentine stretcher seated with a musician, the reverse of the bust mounts variously incised 'FL'
36 ½ in. (93 cm.) high, 62 in. (157.8 cm.) wide, 20 in. (50.8 cm.) deep
Provenance
Acquired from Charles Cheriff Galleries, New York.
Special notice

Please note this lot will be moved to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services (CFASS in Red Hook, Brooklyn) at 5pm on the last day of the sale. Lots may not be collected during the day of their move to Christie’s Fine Art Storage Services. Please consult the Lot Collection Notice for collection information. This sheet is available from the Bidder Registration staff, Purchaser Payments or the Packing Desk and will be sent with your invoice.

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Lot Essay

Effectively exhibiting the harmonious collaboration between sculptor and ébéniste, this splendid console is a quintessential example of the genius of François Linke's superior craftsmanship with Léon Messagé's Art Nouveau-infused designs.

Considered sculpture unto themselves, exquisite ormolu mountings were a characteristic of the finest late 19th century furniture, and Messagé's prowess in their design and application was unrivalled. The sculptor triumphantly embraced the asymmetry characterized by Rococo designers such as Juste-Aurèle Meissonnier by creating lively and emotive allegorical figures and undulating grotto-inspired forms all linked by sinuous encadrements finished in matte and burnished gilding by Linke. His collaboration with Linke was preceeded by his association with Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener at the 1889 Paris Exposition universelle for the ébéniste's maginificent serre bijoux, sold Christie's, London, 17 March 2011, lot 409 (£623,650). It is therefore almost certain that Linke first came into contact with Messagé through Zwiener's introduction and the sculptor's designs have since become synonymous with Linke's oeuvre. In 1890, Messagé published his Cahier des Dessins et Croquis Style Louis XV, totalling thirty-six designs, ranging from furniture to silverware.

Such motifs draw from a well of of extensively-documented designs frequently associated with Linke's awe-inspriting creations for the Paris 1900 Exposition universelle, which would forever shift Linke's name with Message's iconic designs. Related designs for a scalloped shell issuing cascasing water linked by delicate chutes are illustrated in C. Payne, Francois Linke: The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003., p. 113 pl. 127. The present console is puncutated by the highly sculptural coquille to the central frieze, which prominently appears on Linke’s opulent Commode coquille: Coquetterie et Modestie, index number 559 produced for the 1900 Paris Exposition, on his center-table, index number 965, an example of which was sold at Christie’s, New York, 18 November 2014, lot 249 and a small ladies worktable, index number 552 (op. cit. p. 113).

In his seminal monograph on Linke, scholar Christopher Payne illustrates a related console - index number 153 - completed by Linke and documented in his early workshop daybooks circa 1894 (op. cit. p. 55). The early design for this table, 'but not as fully developed as the Messagé-inspired piece of 1900 exhibition pieces', is first documented in Linke's 'Daybook 4', p. 133 (op. cit. p. 59) in the 'unrestained Louis XV style' borrowing from the German designer François Cuvilliés and the engravings of Hoppenhaut of the mid-18th century. Another example of the model is photographed in Linke's luxurious showrooms at the Place Vendôme in 1903. (op. cit. p. 160).

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