With its distinctive and playful mounts of putti and monkeys and its sumptuous espagnolette-headed angles, this striking bureau plat is a grand-scale, and uniquely-19th century reinterpretation of the work of celebrated Régence ébéniste and sculpteur, Charles Cressent. The unusual figures on each side of the desk – a tight-rope-walking monkey supported by two seated putti – are directly inspired by the work of Cressent who, employed the decorative scheme on a series of cabinets called 'commodes aux enfants balançant un singe’ dated circa 1749-1755, including a commode now in the Musée du Louvre (OA 6868). Cressent (1695-1768) was the son of a sculptor and trained as a wood-carver, the profession of his grandfather, and this lineage is evident in his favoured use of profuse sculptural decoration such as the mounts that inspired those on the present lot.
Linke, en homage to his Ancien Régime predecessor, adopts a similarly playful sculptural style for the mounts on the present desk. The putti and monkeys are here paired with angle mounts of busts with laced bodices and ruffle-collars, another reference to the work of Cressent. However, Linke gives new life to the works of his predecessor, placing these designs on a bureau plat of impressive proportions that would, no doubt, have suited the grand tastes of his Belle Époque patrons. Very similar bureaux by Joseph-Emannuel Zwiener, were sold Christie's, London, 18 March 2004, lot 89 (£50,190) and Sotheby's, London, 24-25 May 1995, lot 65 (£95,000).