Born in Bohemia, François Linke (d.1946) moved to Paris in 1875 and later established independent ateliers at 170, rue de Faubourg St. Antoine. As was the practice among his contemporaries, Linke initially produced furniture derived from styles popular during the ancienne régime. By 1900, his worldwide reputation as a master of high quality furniture was established. With a huge display placing his extravagant pieces in room settings, Linke's participation in the Paris 1900 exhibition was to be the pinnacle of his career. It was there he won the Medaille d'Or for his Grand Bureau, prompting 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 1900" (see C. Dambreuse, L'Art Industriel à l'Exposition de Meuble de Style - M. F. Linke, in Revue Artistique & Industrielle, Paris, July-August, 1900).
Linke's international acclaim following the 1900 exhibition afforded him a high degree of financial stability, allowing him to establish a large showroom on the fashionable place Vendôme. As one of the most celebrated ébénistes of his time, he was now able to pursue new and further distant markets by exhibiting at other international shows. These included the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, where he was again awarded a gold medal, Liège in 1905 and the Franco-British exhibition in London in 1908.
The most exuberant of Linke's exhibition pieces combined, as Dambreuse expressed it: "la plus exquise floraison du style Louis XV", with the new Art Nouveau style, championed in Paris in the 1880s and 90s by Samuel Bing. Linke's collaborator for the design and execution of the sumptuous mounts for these "modèles entièrement nouveaux" was the enigmatic sculptor Léon Messagé. In a volume of designs for furniture, bronzes dorés and silver, published in 1890 from his address at 40, rue Sedaine, Messagé interpreted the traditional Louis XV style but, just like Linke with the sinuous forms of his furniture, imbued it with distinct flourishes of the art nouveau. In an obituary after his suicide in 1904, the review Art & Curiosité paid tribute to this vigorous manner and new sense of movement, commenting: "projets nés sous le crayon se formèrent d'un jet plus rapide en la noble matière du bronze, ciselé d'une main sûre..." (October, 1904, p. 166).