List Price £45,000
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Linke, François (French, 1855-1946)
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The table is built in the Louis XVI style, with ormolu mounted serpentine edges connected by mermaid supports, enclosing the glass top, set on tapering ormolu mounted cabriole legs.
Francois Linke was born in 1855 in the Czech Republic, where he grew up and trained under the strict disciplines of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, emerging as one of the greatest cabinetmakers of his time. He then moved to Paris in 1875, where he began working with Joseph-Emmanuel Zweiner, an established important cabinetmaker. The worldwide influence of the French taste for the ancient regime was at its height in the 19th Century, and Linke had a huge impact in the revival of the Louis XV and Louis XVI furniture styles, which greatly raised his popularity. His ambition was to create a new style mixing both the old and the new traditions. The result produced a collection of very high quality items in the style of the 18th Century originals but with modern and extravagant adaptations. Introducing his extraordinary Grand Bureau at the Paris Exhibition Universelle in 1900, he was rewarded with a gold medal as well as with many important private commissions from which emerged many of his most beautiful works. After this high success, he continued to use international fairs as a means of exploring new markets, exhibiting his works there, such as the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, the Liege in Belgium and the 1908 Franco-British exhibition in London. Linke's greatest successes were achieved during the years after 1900 and up to the beginning of World War I. He opened a showroom in the fashionable Place Vendand business flourished until World War II, although the popularity of the ancien regime styles already started to decline. In 1946, Linke died at the respectable age of 91.
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