Francois Linke, Rare & Important Pair of French Ormolu & Vernis Martin Vitrines

64 inches
33 inches
12 inches
Francois Linke


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Francois Linke, a rare and important near pair of French ormolu and Vernis Martin vitrines, circa 1890. Francois Linke index number 75. Francois Linke title: Meubles crédence, guirlandes dans la ceinture, panneau vernis Martin. Mahogany, kingwood bandings and satin cube-parquetry, the central cupboards fitted with beautiful Vernis Martin painted panels. Exceptional Quality gilt-bronze ormolu mounts. With all original glass shelves throughout. Interiors lined with velvet. With original keys. Both locks signed ‘CT LINKE/SERRURERIE/PARIS’ on the back of the lock.

In excellent condition, ready to place. Designed circa 1885, this is an early model from Linke’s repertoire. The first entry is in Daybook 2, p. 50, Linke’s pencil drawing giving an accurate and easily identifiable image of this side cabinet, even identifying that the central door should have a painted panel. Of the two versions made first, the ‘simple’ version cost 472 francs to make and was sold for 650. It is difficult to establish the differences of the more elaborate version, which cost 1,000 francs, Linke noting that he must receive 1,150 francs when selling the piece. Daybook 5, p. 88 shows another more detailed version of the same cabinet, and for the first time Linke numbers this 75 in his Archive.

The first version had square legs, but Linke specifies that the later version should have circular legs (the cost being slightly more at 1,097 francs, still being offered at 1,150, a remarkably modest profit of 5.3%). The painted panel cost 50 francs, but in later years Linke was able to reduce this cost to 45 francs by commissioning the artist Carl Guilbert in 1901. This cabinet does not appear in the Blue Daybooks; the last made in 1908 is entered in the green registre, order number 1107. Literature: C. Payne, François Linke, p. 52 and p. 474, for the sketch from the Daybook entries.