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Considered to be the greatest sculptural clock ever made, this exceptional Régulateur Louis XV surmounté du Motif le Temp is the second of only six known to have been made by the master cabinetmaker François Linke. The result of a very successful collaboration between Linke and designer Léon Messagé, this clock was constructed especially for the 1904 St. Louis Exposition after the success of it predecessor, which was itself specifically created for the 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle. Standing over 10 feet tall, the magnificent inlaid tulipwood and fruitwood case is richly decorated in mythological and natural motifs rendered in cast bronze ormolu. From the star-studded globe dial surmounted by a scythe-wielding Chronos (Father Time), to the entangled oak branches, apple blossoms, bulrush and cascading water, this clock represents the height of Linkes incredible genius as a cabinetmaker and artist. Over ten years in the making, this is truly one of the worlds most beautiful clocks.
Hailed by the critic Charles Dambreuse at the 1900 Paris Exposition as possibly the chef-doeuvre on his Gold Medal-winning stand, the clock was based on a design by Messagé and skillfully executed by Linke. The model was also shown at the Liège Exhibition in 1905, and possibly again at the 1908 Anglo-French Exhibition in London. Being such a monumental endeavor, Linke was only able to complete five other régulateurs, one of which is prominently displayed in the foyer of the Flagler Museum in Palm Beach, Florida.
The mounts are signed and stamped LINKE 1803, FL, and LIN, the clockworks stamped ETIENNE MAXANT/BREVETE/R DE SAINTONGE PARIS/17965.
42 wide x 23 deep x 123 high
François Linke was born in Pankraz, Bohemia. He moved to Paris in 1875 and six years later established independent ateliers at 170, rue de Faubourg St. Antoine. Linke initially produced furniture derived from styles popular during the 18th century ancien régime, and by 1900, his worldwide reputation as a master of high quality furniture was well established.
In his quest to create haute luxe furniture of unquestionable distinction, Linke enlisted the talents of sculptor Léon Messagé to give life to his unparalleled stylistic vision that would become his hallmark. The result was the most acclaimed and original furniture designs of the perioda melding of Linkes Louis XV interpretation with an Art Nouveau and Rococo infusion. This highly developed style gave Linkes works a fluidity that has made him the most celebrated and influential French ébéniste of his time.
The 1900 Paris Exposition Universelle confirmed Linkes reputation as a world-leading furniture designer when he was awarded the prestigious Médaille dor. His large display showcasing his extravagant pieces in room settings prompted one critic to opine: The exposition of the Linke house is the biggest event in the history of the furnishing of art in the year of grace 1900. The financial benefits derived from the international acclaim achieved at the 1900 exhibition allowed Linke to establish a large showroom on the Place Vendôme. Furthermore, he was able to pursue new and distant markets by exhibiting at other prestigious international exhibitions, including the Louisiana Purchase Exposition of 1904 in St. Louis, Missouri, where this monumental clock was exhibited, and he was again honored with the gold medal. This extraordinary timepiece provides testament to Linkes genius, and the chance to own such a grand piece by this significant maker is a unique opportunity