Ref#D-198U | Description
A sensational and grand French 19th century Louis XV style gilt-ormolu mounted veneer inlaid five drawers Executive / Presidential Bureau Plat after a model by François Linke,
The Bureau Plat is raised on handsome cabriole legs with fine ormolu leafy paw sabots. At each corner are large and impressive ormolu mounts of richly chased maidens with acanthus leaves scrolls,
The front scalloped shaped frieze displays five drawers in three sections; each section is framed within an intricate rich foliate ormolu band and exquisite leafy handles. The central recessed drawer has an ormolu keyhole escutcheon with a foliate pattern. Both side drawers are separated by a long acanthus gadroon shaped ormolu chutes extending with ormolu fillet wrapping around the contour of the whole desk,
Each side panel is decorated in ormolu band with foliate movements. The back is finished with three faux drawers that mirror the front. Above is three sectional gilt tooled leather tops within veneer inlaid filet with ormolu lyre foliate seashells at each corner.
Francois Linke (1855-1946) was arguably the leading Parisian cabinetmaker of the Belle Epoque the glittering age of fashionable French society, whose influence was felt throughout the world.
Determined to outshine the competition at the Exhibition, Linke had set about creating the most ambitious pieces he could envisage, and more extravagant than had ever been displayed before. The items he exhibited marked a transition from the historicist interpretation of Louis XV and Louis XVI styles, an interpretation that was the mainstay of his nearest rivals, to something startlingly new and vital in its immediacy. Together with Leon Message he developed a new style for the 1900 Exhibition that paid homage to the Louis XV rococo in the fluidity of its approach, but an approach fused with the lively flowing lines of the contemporary and progressive 'art nouveau'.
This risky endeavour was a resounding success, and with his reputation established, La Maison Linke became the pre-eminent furniture house until outset of the Second World War. The technical brilliance of his work and the artistic change that it represented was never to be repeated. His showrooms expanded into prestigious premises in Paris, in the Place Vendome as well as the Faubourg St. Antoine where his workshop had been established. He embarked on many important commissions in the years up to the outbreak of the First World War, making and designing furniture for leading international industrialists and bankers.
After the 1914-1918 World War, Linke undertook the extraordinary commission to furnish the Ras al-Tin Palace in Alexandria for King Fuad of Egypt, possibly the largest single furniture commission ever conceived, eclipsing even Versailles. Linke flourished and remained active until the middle years of the 1930s and died in 1946.
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