This wonderfully asymmetrical chandelier is a quintessential collaboration between François Linke and the sculptor Léon Messagé. Messagé's prowess at design and application was unrivaled and here the sculptor again triumphantly embraces the sinuosity characterized by Rococo designers such as Meissonnier by creating a lively cage from which finely-cast espagnolettes emerge amidst swirling candle branches. Though the exact design for this model does not appear in the Linke Archive the elements of Messagé’s genius, specifically the billowing incense burner, are unmistakable and most closely relate to a chandelier in his Cahier des Dessins et Croquis Style Louis XV published in 1890 (see inset illustration).
Christopher Payne remarks that fourteen chandelier models are recorded in the Archive’s glass negatives (clichés), many of which are direct copies after or inspired by the ancient régime, thus Payne notes that identification without a signature poses a challenge (C. Payne, François Linke: The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003, p. 456). The present example, boldly signed by the ébéniste, is one of seemingly few of this innovative design which were produced during the turn of the 20th century. A chandelier of slightly larger proportions was commissioned by one of Linke's most illustrious patrons, Elias Meyer’s, for the main drawing room of this Grosvenor Square residence (op cit, p. 243).