REF NO : B77800

François Linke

A Fine Louis XVI Style Patinated and Gilt-Bronze Mounted Centre Table

France, Circa 1910


A Fine Louis XVI Style Patinated and Gilt-Bronze Mounted Centre Table, After The Fontainebleau Model, By François Linke. This fine table has a circular...


Height: 81 cm (32 in)
Diameter: 100 cm (40 in)
REF NO : B77800


A Fine Louis XVI Style Patinated and Gilt-Bronze Mounted Centre Table, After The Fontainebleau Model, By François Linke.

This fine table has a circular top of burr-thuya wood banded by a gilt-bronze rim of stylised anthemion leaves. The four scroll supports with paw feet are applied with sculptural herm figures of angels called Renommées ailées (winged figures emblematic of Fame). The concave sided platform stretcher is centred by a blue ceramic vase.

Signed ‘Linke’ to the top of one scroll support. Stamped ‘Linke 4308′ to back base gilt-bronze rim.

French, Circa 1910.

This table is known as the Fontainebleau model because its antecedent was found in the third salon of the sovereign prince’s apartment at the Château de Fontainebleau where it recorded in an inventory 1810 as ‘un gueridon en bois de racine d’iff, le quart de rond à feuilles d’ornements et à palmettes supporté par 4 cariatides en bronzes, une parties des dorures au mat et reposant sur un plateau orné de bronzes dorés au mat et un vase de porcelain au millieu’ (J.-P. Samoyault, ‘Meubles entrés sous le Premier Empire. Musée national du Château de Fontainebleau. Catalogue des collections de mobilier’, Paris, 2004, No. 176 ‘Guéridon F 1069C’, p. 248). That table is attributed to the master cabinetmaker Adam Weisweiler and the bronze maker Pierre-Philippe Thomire.

In the late nineteenth century the model is recorded by Théodore Millet and Emmanuel Zwiener. When Millet’s business closed, an auction of his furniture patterns was held in 1905 from which it is recorded François Linke bought the model for this table. Christopher Payne notes that ‘the first one, made by Linke in 1907, has a porcelain vase on the stretcher, simulating porphyry; the others have blue porcelain, all supplied by Samson, the Parisian manufacturer’ (C. Payne. ‘François Linke, (1855 – 1946), The Belle Époque of French Furniture, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2003, pl. 228, p. 208.

See another example of this table, made by Zwiener, also in the collection of Adrian Alan (Ref No : B76913).



Circa 1910




Thuya Wood and Gilt-Bronze


Signed ‘Linke’ to the top of one scroll support.

François Linke

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.

It is known that the fledgling Linke workshops were active in Paris in the Faubourg St. Antoine as early as 1881, and during this time he supplied furniture for other more established makers such as Jansen and Krieger.

The quality of Linke’s craftsmanship was unsurpassed by any of his contemporaries and reached its peak with his spectacular stand at the Paris Exposition Universelle in 1900, where his Grand Bureau took the gold medal. He gambled his fortune and reputation on this stand, exhibiting several breathtaking items of furniture with sculptural mounts of the most exceptional quality and proportion. His gamble worked and his reputation was established to such an extent that Linke continued to be the pre-eminent furniture house in Paris until the Second World War.

As the Art Journal reported in 1900 on Linke’s stand:
‘The work of M. Linke … was an example of what can be done by seeking inspiration amongst the classic examples of Louis XV and XVI without in any great sense copying these great works. M. Linke’s work was original in the true sense of the word, and as such commended itself to the intelligent seeker after the really artistic things of the Exhibition. Wonderful talent was employed in producing the magnificent pieces of furniture displayed….’

The formation of Linke’s distinctive style was made possible by his collaboration with the sculptor Léon Messagé. Together Linke and Messagé designed furniture for Linke’s 1900 exhibition stand, with exuberant allegorical figures cast in high relief, that exemplified Linke’s ability to seamlessly merge the different mediums of wood carving, bronze and marquetry into a dynamic unified whole.

Today Linke is best known for the exceptionally high quality of his work, as well as his individualism and inventiveness. All of his work has the finest, most lavish mounts, very often applied to comparatively simple carcasses. The technical brilliance of his work and the artistic change that it represented were never to be repeated.

Payne, Christopher. François Linke, (1855 – 1946), The Belle Époque of French Furniture, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2003.
Meyer, Jonathan. Great Exhibitions – London, New York, Paris, Philadelphia, 1851-1900, Antique Collectors’ Club, (Woodbridge, UK), 2006; pp. 298 – 300.
Ledoux – Lebard, Denise. Les Ébénistes du XIXe siècle, Les Editions de l’Amateur, (Paris), 1984; pp. 439-43.
Revue Artistique & Industrielle, (Paris), July-August 1900.
Coral Thomsen, D. (ed), The Paris Exhibition 1900, The Art Journal, 1901; p.341.

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