Described as a 'pendule à cage', the modèle for the present clock was acquired by Linke at the third of a total six sales of the stock of the firm of Denière held between February and December 1903. With their purchase at auction giving the buyer the automatic and all-important right to reproduce a model, the acquisition of patterns used by other firms was nothing unusual for Linke. Indeed it was a major feature of his business strategy between the years of 1890 and 1920, when the various public auctions of the fonds de commerce of long-established and well-respected maisons yielded an important supply of bronze master models for much of the most celebrated furniture and objets de luxe from the ancien régime. In a relatively cost-effective manner, therefore, Linke was able to exploit the continuing commercial demand for reproductions of 18th century Royal models, both faithful and adapted to suit modern requirements, whilst simultaneously providing funding for his own, significantly costlier creations produced in collaboration with Léon Messagé.
Whilst his purchases at the earlier auctions of the stock of firms such as Dasson, Millet and Beurdeley had provided Linke with the bronze patterns principally for celebrated 18th century furniture models, the six auctions that comprised the inventory of Denière, a firm dating back to 1813 and renowned for the outstanding quality of its metalwork, allowed him to add a plethora of modèles for sculptures, chandeliers, clocks and other objets d'art to his ever-expanding catalogue. The last of seventeen lots purchased at the third sale held between 20th and 22nd October 1903, this pendule à cage is considered one of the most successful models produced by Denière and Linke, although examples are rarely seen today. Designed to have either porcelain or, as here, glazed front and sides, the modèle cost Linke 440 francs and was subsequently produced in two sizes, retailing at 2,850 and 1,950 francs respectively (C. Payne, François Linke, 1855-1946, The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003, pp. 340-2).
Another example was sold Christie's, New York, 10 October 2001, lot 261 ($23,500); meanwhile, Payne illustrates two examples: one from a private collection along with its accompanying candelabra, the other visible in a contemporary black and white photograph of Linke's Faubourg St-Antoine showrooms (C. Payne, op. cit. pp. 172-3, pl. 187 and p. 463, pl. 552).