François Linke was undoubtedly the most important Parisian ébéniste of his time. Having served an apprenticeship in his home town of Pankraz, Bohemia, Linke arrived in Paris in 1875 and set up independent workshops at 170, Rue du Faubourg Saint-Antoine in 1881 and later also at 26, Place Vendôme.
By the time of the 1900 Exposition Universelle, Linke’s worldwide reputation as a master of high individualism and inventiveness was already established and unmatched by his contemporaries. His success at the 1900 Exhibition Universelle afforded Linke a degree of financial stability and allowed him to pursue new markets by exhibiting at subsequent international fairs.
Like the inventories of contemporaries such as Beurdeley and Dasson, Linke’s oeuvre included copies and adaptations of the distinct styles of 18th century important and royal French furniture. However his most extravagant exhibition pieces combined the Louis XV style with the new Art Nouveau style. Linke’s frequent collaborator for his designs was the celebrated sculptor Léon Messagé.
In 1904, he was made Officier de l’Instruction publique, and in 1905 he was called to be a member of the Jury of the Liège exhibition. Following his stands in the St.Louis (USA) exhibition in 1904 and the Liège exhibition in 1905, Linke was decorated with the highest distinction of France, the « Croix de la Légion d’Honneur », on October 11, 1906.