An Important Pair of Louis XV Style Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marble Top Commodes

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Object Description

A Rare Pair of Belle Epoque Gilt-Bronze Mounted Marble Top Commodes by François Linke.

Linke Index Number: 245, signed ‘Linke’ to the right-hand espagnolettes, the locks stamped ‘L. Vasseur/Paris’.
Linke Title: ‘Commode Louis XV à trois tiroirs avec marqueterie violette’.

The gilt-bronze mounted bombe cases are set with three drawers with scrolling foliate encadrement and the corners are mounted with male and female espagnolettes. Dating from circa 1890, these commodes formed part of the furnishings of Linke’s private apartment at the Quai Henri IV, on the right bank of the Seine in Paris.

France, Circa 1890.

Object History

François Linke’s personal collection, Quai Henri IV, Paris, and by descent in the Linke family.

The original design for this model commode was an early example of the collaboration between Linke and Léon Messagé, inspired by a smaller commode of similar spirit as shown in Messagé’s personal sketchbook (illus. C.Payne, Linke, pl. 63). However, the Blue Daybook drawing shows the fully developed commode with the distinctive winged foliate handles that Messagé favoured. It might be assumed that this device is Messagé’s idea of an amusing play on his own family name, the wings being the attributes of Mercury the messenger.

Linke produced this in two sizes and in several variations – this parquetry version, a bulrush marquetry model and a plain veneered model. The bulrush version is illustrated in: Adrian Alan, Vol V, p.60-61.

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.

Object Literature

Payne, Christopher. François Linke, 1855 – 1946, The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, Antique Collectors Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2003; pp. 68-9, pl. 63-65.

Object Details

Dealer Opening Times

By appointment only.

Dealer Contact

+44 (0)20 7495 2324
+447500 832323

Dealer Location

Audley House, 3 The Grange
Albion Street, Brighton
West Sussex BN42 4EN

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