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Century-old French cabinet expected to fetch USD $1.5 million

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May 12, 2009 An extraordinary cabinet described as the equivalent of the Cullinan diamond for French furniture will go under the hammer next month. First exhibited at the Salon du Mobilier in Paris in 1908 , the cabinet was made by the great French furniture maker Francois Linke, a leading light of the makers of French meubles de luxe in Paris during the Belle Epoque.

Linke’s title for this magnificent armoire reads simply ‘Grande armoire a trois portes au lit 706’. Assiduous attention to detail can be seen in the finished work of Linke’s workshop, which produced some of the highest quality craftsmanship of any world-class cabinet maker earning Linke the accolade of being a leading light of the makers of French meubles de luxe in Paris during the Belle Epoque.

Only three examples of this wardrobe were ever made. Despite being conceived by Linke without the aide of the late Léon Messagé, the sculptor’s influence can clearly be seen.

Francois le Brun, Head of Bonhams Continental Furniture Department says: “For all those who appreciate the very finest French furniture created by inspired craftsmen, this cabinet by Linke must be the equivalent of the Cullinan diamond, the jewel in the crown of French cabinetry.”

A version of this armoire by Linke was sold in New York in 2006 for $1,584,000. The cabinet will be auctioned during Bonhams Fine Continental Furniture And Works Of Art Sale on June 17 and is expected to fetch USD $1M-$1.5M.

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