These elegant display cabinets (or vitrines) were crafted in the late 19th Century by the leading ébéniste (cabinetmaker) of the period, François Linke (French, 1855-1946). Linke was world-famous for his 18th-Century Louis XV and Louis XVI revival style furniture. The locks of the vitrines are stamped ‘CT LINKE/ SERPRURERIE/ PARIS’.
The wooden cabinets are of rectangular form, and they are covered by variegated red marble. The cabinets’ tops are decorated with gilt bronze (ormolu) Vitruvian scrolls, and their friezes are mounted with gilt bronze rinceau bands, within rectangular gilt bronze twisted ribbon frames. The front panel is centred on a gilt bronze plaque which features low-relief depictions of putti playing in an outdoor setting. Gilt bronze ribbon bows and flower trails decorate the cabinets’ top corners. The bodies of the cabinets are glazed to enable the viewer to see the objects displayed on the shelves within. Vernis Martin (imitation lacquer) panels are mounted on the lower sections of the cabinets. These depict young courting couples and animals in Arcadian landscapes. ‘V. GOSSENS’ is signed onto the panels. The cabinets’ aprons are decorated with gilt bronze motifs, composed of musical instruments, gardening tools, flowers and ladies’ hats. Each cabinet stands on four cabriole legs which are mounted with gilt bronze floral motifs and terminate in gilt bronze hoof feet.