Rare pair of French Renaissance style tinted wood cabinets. Composed of an architectured upper part, with inlaid panels alternated with fine fluted columns, opening with a central door onto an exquisite ebony filet framed sycamore veneered interior fitted with shelves. The decor of the panels inlaid with blend wood onto ebonized background is made of very fine designed motifs such scrolls, grotesques and flowery vases, all characteristic of the Renaissance decorative repertoire. The lower section with three drawers above a three arched support adorned with columns, raised on a stepped base ; the back with similarly-inlaid decoration.
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These neo-Renaissance style cabinets are very close to François Linke’s one presented in his private collection.
(Reproduced and commented in François Linke (1855-1946), The Belle Epoque of French Furnitures, Ch. Payne, pp.40-41).
If the style, characterizing François Linke, is mostly recognizable by its Rococo-Art Nouveau motifs, it occasionally appealed other historical ornaments, such from the French Renaissance. That reminds of the time, when the cabinet took the central place in the interior furnishings. This collector furniture piece, which facade has sumptuously decorated doors matching the base, presents a decorative aesthetic coming from the architectural vocabulary.
François Linke, born in 1855 in Bohemia (Czechoslovakia), worked as a cabinet-maker in Paris from about 1882 until his death in 1946. In 1900, at the apex of his career, he opened a new shop at the famous Parisian place Vendôme. He specialized in Louis XV and Louis XVI style furniture: all pieces were beautifully mounted with gilt-bronze ornaments, and he received numerous commissions. Later Linke decided to collaborate with the well-known sculptor Léon Messagé and integrated new lines and shapes announcing the “Art Nouveau” style. His great success is definitely the 1900 Universal Exhibition where he was awarded the gold medal for his extraordinary kingwood desk, designed by Messagé. At this occasion, the “Revue artistique et industrielle” commented that “Linke’s stand is the biggest show in the history of art furniture”.
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