The bronze mounts on the present bureau plat derive from 18th century prototypes by the great French marchand-ébéniste and sculpteur Charles Cressent (1685-1768), ébéniste of the regent of France, Philippe d'Orleans.
The presence of the mark 'CL' on the present lot presents a mystery. This suggests an inventory or numbering system. The only recorded person to do this was François Linke. It has to be assumed that it is purely coincidental that Linke's brother has the initials 'CL'. However these marks will remain a mystery until possibly chance research discovers who 'CL' was. Clément Linke and later his son, also Clément, worked independently from François, supplying locks and hinges to the wholesale market. Is it possible that they also supplied small mounts cast in their own workshops?
Locks by Duvivier have been seen on early Linke and Krieger furniture, a locksmith on the same street as Linke's and Zwiener's workshops in the Faubourg St. Antoine.
The same model desk, signed Zwiener was sold, Sotheby's, London, Luton Hoo sale, May 24 and 25, 1995, lot 65, £ 95,000.
For a footnote on François Linke, please see lot 141 in the present sale.
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