This is a well-known and celebrated model by Emmanuel and Joseph Zwiener and one that the younger brother Joseph made after he set up business on his own account in Berlin in 1896, reputedly summoned at the request of the German emperor Wilhelm II (1859-1941) to work, initially, at Schloss Neues Palais, Sans Souci, Potsdam. He was still advertising this popular model in 1929. It is clear that Linke had the rights and cabinet maker's plans to the carcass and he made variations as Linke number 245 in his inimitable variation of the Louis XV. Both Linke and Zwiener used the sculptor Léon Messagé for many of their gilt-bronze mounts and the similarity os sometimes confusing. According to the photographs in the Linke Archive, Linke only produced this model with female espagnolettes and with a distinctly different variation of the rococo tendrils foliate handles. The closest Linke version has bulrushes inlaid sans travers in marquetry over three drawers, not two drawers with profuse foliage as in the present lot.
Bearing in mind the almost certain assumption that the young Linke worked with the Zwiener Brothers when he arrived in Paris in the late 1870s and the similarity to the work of both makers it is reasonable to think that there was a crossover between the two, especially when the elder Zwiener retired in 1896 and the younger Joseph left for Berlin. It is therefore perfectly possible that Linke took over some unfinished Zwiener models and adapted them for his own clientele and would sign the finished work accordingly.
For a comparison of the present lot with similar marquetry and different gilt-bronze mounts see Sotheby's New York, October 26th 2006, lot 136
C. Payne,la Quintessence du Meuble au XIXe siècle, Paris, 2019, pp. 558, 566
Footnote courtesy of Christopher Payne