List Price £85,000
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By Linke, François (French, 1855-1946)
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This beautiful commode features a flat back and serpentine front, which curves outwards at its centre. Raised up on toupie feet, the ormolu and mahogany commode consists of a large central hinged door, flanked on either side by two veined marble shelves.
The hinged door is mounted at its centre with a ormolu motif, composed of a basket full of flowers and fruits, topped by a ribbon bow. This motif is set within a shaped, foliate ormolu frame, with ormolu circular rosettes in its lower corners. The upper corners of the door panel are decorated with scrolled, leafy forms, which terminate in cockerel heads. This door opens onto a capacious interior, with a green felt-lined shelf.
Flanking the central door are two ormolu pedestals, each set on three lion’s feet, and topped by classical female busts. The commode sides each feature two open marble-faced shelves, which are fringed with ormolu. These are set against mahogany panels, decorated by ormolu frames.
Three frieze drawers – one long central drawer, and two smaller side drawers – top the commode body. The central drawer is given a foliate ormolu border, and is mounted at its centre with an ormolu panel, depicting cherubs in flight. The drawer is flanked on either side by ormolu motifs, composed of laurel branches and musical instruments, tied with ribbons. On the sides, the curved drawers are decorated with ormolu drapery swags, framed by foliate ormolu borders. The commode is fitted with a veined marble top.
'F. Linke' is inscribed onto the top left of the commode. Francois Linke was an acclaimed Czech cabinetmaker, who established a workshop in Paris in the first half of the 19th Century. This piece is a version of a ‘commode a l’anglaise’, which features as Index number 777 in Linke's ‘Daybook Entries’ from 1881-98.
In this commode, Linke creatively applies motifs from the work of prominent 18th Century cabinetmakers. The classical female pedestals, for instance, appeared on the furniture of the famous French ebeniste, Adam Weisweiler (1746-1820). Linke was well-known for his ability to quote Louis XV and Louis XVI period furniture in his work, applying these forms in a way that led to completely new and original designs.
Christopher Payne, François Linke (1855-1946), The Belle Epoque of French Furniture, 2003.
Camille Mestdagh, Pierre Lécoules, L'Ameublement d'art français (1850-1900), 2010.
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