This table à thé is a variation on the famous index number 610 shown at the 1900 Paris Universelle Exposition. Examples of index number 610 are illustrated in C. Payne. François Linke, 1855-1946 - The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Woodbridge, 2003, pp. 94, 117 and 494.
The corner clasps heading the legs show the influence of Léon Messagé in their combination of a stylised Louis XV rococo with moderne 'Art Nouveau' and also feature to the side-chairs of a dining suite sold in these rooms, 20 March 2003, lot 192. A smaller oval table à thé by Linke with identical cherubic triton supports sold Christie's, New York, 28 October 2003, lot 91 ($28,680).
François Linke (d. 1946) was one of the most celebrated ébénistes of his time. Born in Pankraz, Bohemia, Linke moved to Paris in 1875 and six years later established independent ateliers at 170, rue de Faubourg St. Antoine. As was the practice among contemporaries and noteworthy predecessors, such as Alfred Beurdeley and Henry Dasson, Linke initially produced furniture derived from styles popular during the 18th century ancien régime. By 1900, his worldwide reputation as an individualistic master of high quality furniture was already established. However, with a huge display, placing his extravagant pieces in room settings and winning the Médaille d'Or for his Grand Bureau, Linke's participation in the Paris 1900 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 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, not only allowing him to establish a large showroom on the fashionable place Vendôme, but also 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.