A Louis XVI style ormolu-mounted mahogany vitrine
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A Louis XVI style ormolu-mounted mahogany vitrine


A Louis XVI style ormolu-mounted mahogany vitrine
By François Linke, Paris, Late 19th/Early 20th Century
The shaped spreading pediment centred by a ribbon-tied floral wreath, above a Vitruvian scroll frieze, the central glazed door set with laurel branches to the angles, the reverse of the lockplate inscribed CT. LINKE/SERRURERIE/PARIS, the interior with four adjustable glass shelves, the sides with bombé glazed panels, the angles with fluted pilasters headed by Ionic capitals, on tapering fluted feet and acanthus sabots
90½ in. (230 cm.) high; 48 in. (122 cm.) wide; 16½ in. (42 cm.) deep
Special notice
VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price plus buyer's premium.

Lot Essay

François Linke (d. 1946) was one of the most celebrated ébénistes of his time. Born in Pankraz, Bohemia, Linke moved to Paris in 1875 and six years later established independent ateliers at 170, rue du Faubourg St. Antoine. As was the practice among his contemporaries and noteworthy predecessors, such as Alfred Beurdeley and Henry Dasson, Linke initially produced furniture derived from styles popular during the 18th century ancien régime. By 1900, his worldwide reputation as an individualistic master of high quality furniture was already established. However, with a huge display, placing his extravagant pieces in room settings and winning the Médaille d'Or for his Grand Bureau, Linke's participation in 1900 prompted critics, such as Charles Dambreuse, to comment: "L'Exposition de la maison Linke est le gros événement de l'histoire du meuble d'art en l'an de grâce 1900" (see C. Dambreuse, L'Art Industriel à l'Exposition de Meuble de Style - M. F. Linke, in Revue Artistique & Industrielle, Paris, July-August, 1900). Linke's international acclaim following the 1900 exhibition afforded him a high degree of financial stability, not only allowing him to establish a large showroom on the fashionable place Vendôme, but also to pursue new and further distant markets by exhibiting at other international shows. These included the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, where he was again awarded a gold medal, Liège in 1905 and the Franco-British exhibition in London in 1908

A very similar example of this vitrine, with panelled lower section to the glazed door, can be seen in C. Payne, François Linke 1855-1946, The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003, plates 294-5, pp. 280-1.

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