A Rare Belle Epoque Gilt-Bronze Mounted Vitrine Pedestal By François Linke, Paris.
Signed ‘F. Linke / Paris’.
Reverse of the bronze mounts stamped ‘FL’.
The top is of fleur de pêcher marble with ogee cut edge above a frieze with gilt-bronze acanthus mounts. The front angles mounted with espagnolettes busts. The tapering sides and front cupboard door glazed. The top of the door is inset with a plaque signed ‘F. Linke / Paris’. The interior is fitted with two glass shelves. The apron with Linke’s signature mount of a water-spilling shell.
Pedestals by Linke have always been desirable and were a mainstay of his output from the earliest years of his production. However, vitrine pedestals with glazed sides are very rare. The most famous model is Index Number 512, which is a pedestal with four glazed sides, of which four examples were ordered by King Rama V of Thailand and are at the Vimanmek Mansion Museum, Bangkok. Index Number 512 was also made with marquetry panelled sides and three glazed sides, and a pair of the latter were supplied for the King’s study at the Ras El Tin Palace in Alexandria, Egypt.
The gilt-bronze frieze to the present variant differs from Index Number 512, and this version is probably register number 1422, listed in the price list of circa 1901 as a ‘gaine vitrine Louis XV’, with a glazed door and sides. Made from 1907 the retail price of the vitrine version was 2,000 French francs in 1901 but had risen sharply to 16,400 by the 1926 revision.
France. Circa 1910.