An Exceptional Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marquetry Inlaid Commode by François Linke, The Gilt-Bronze Mounts Designed by Léon Messagé.
French, Circa 1900.
Stamped ‘F.Linke’ to the back of the carcass.
Stamped ‘FL’ to the reverse of the bronze mounts.
This fine and very rare commode is an example of the collaboration between Linke and the gifted sculptor Léon Messagé. The distinctive winged foliate handles is a design Messagé particularly favoured and seen on a number of pieces designed for Linke. It might be assumed that this motif is Messagé’s idea of an amusing play on his own family name, the wings being the attributes of Mercury the messenger.
François Linke (1855 – 1946) was the most important Parisian cabinet maker of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, and possibly the most sought after cabinet maker of his period.
He was born in 1855 in the small village of Pankraz, in what is now the Czech Republic. Records show that Linke served an apprenticeship with the master cabinetmaker Neumann, then in 1875 at the age of 20 he arrived in Paris where he lived until he died in 1946.
Léon Messagé (1842-1901) had a brilliant, but short lived career. He is best known for his incredible sculptural collaboration with François Linke for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. A gifted sculptor, Messagé was also responsible for much of the design and creative work for Roux et Brunet and Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener.