François Linke (d. 1946) was one of the most celebrated ébénistes of his time. Born in Pankraz, Bohemia, Linke moved to Paris in 1875. Six years later he established independent ateliers at 170 rue du Faubourg St. Antoine and later showrooms at 26 place Vendôme. Initially producing furniture derived from styles popular during the ancienne régime, by the end of the 19th century Linke had already established a reputation as being a master of high quality, individualistic furniture. However, with a huge display, placing his extravagant pieces in room settings and winning the Medaille d'Or for his Grand Bureau, his participation in the 1900 Paris exhibition was to be the pinnacle of his career and 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 de 1900" (see Charles Dambreuse, L'Art Industriel à l'Exposition de Meuble de Style - M. F. Linke). Linke's international acclaim following the 1900 exhibition afforded him a high degree of financial stability and this success allowed him to pursue new and further distant markets by exhibiting at other international shows, such as the 1904 World's Fair in St Louis, in Liège the following year and at the Franco-British exhibition in London in 1908. The most exuberant of Linke's pieces combined the new Art Nouveau style, championed in Paris by Samuel Bing, with what Dambreuse expressed as "la plus exquise floraison du style Louis XV", popularized by the writings of the Goncourt Frères.