See lot 378 for a biographical note on François Linke, Léon Messagé and their collaborative work.
An example of this finely executed bureau de dame featured prominently at the front of Linke's Gold Medal-winning stand at the 1900 Paris Exposition universelle. Furthermore, as an indication of how highly it was rated, the desk was illustrated on the title page of art critic Charles Dambreuse's article lauding Linke's work at the exhibition (see illustration on previous page). In addition to its trailing foliate mounts and frames - signature flourishes of Léon Messagé - the desk combines function with exquisite detail in its delicately cast shell-form encrier (see detail opposite) and organic angled lamp. Amongst other pieces, the figure of Cupid surmounting the bombé superstructure is also found on the stretcher of a tray-top table by Linke sold in these rooms 24 April 2001, lot 195 ($49,350).
An identical model bureau de dame, with later inset malachite top and accompanying chair, sold Sotheby's New York, 25 October 1996, lot 201 ($57,500).