Francois Linke (1855-1946)
A very fine Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted kingwood piano, late 19th century, signed Francois Linke, stamped Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener,
movement by Erard
The quarter veneered case inlaid with cartouche panels centering bouquets of blossoms and cattails, surmounted by a hinged lid within cast ribbon tied reeded borders, opening to a satinwood veneered interior
inscribed Par Brevet divination/Seb. & Pre Erard/13 & 21 rue du Mail Paris,
signed Erard/Paris above the keypad,
over scalloped sides and a lyre form pedal support, raised on six cabriole legs, each headed by pierced foliate mounts and ending in lion paw and bun feet;
signed F. Linke on the upper right foliate mount.
height 38in (96cm); width 4ft 6in (1.37m); length 7ft 2in (2.18m)
Further inspection has revealed that the interior of some of the bronze mounts are impressed with the initials 'ZJ', the mark of Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener.
A nearly identical piano with the same configuration of Linke's signature and Zwiener's initials was sold at Christie's London (October 1999, lot 182), with the speculation that movement was provided by Erard to Zwiener, who then began the casting work on the piano but passed it off to Linke to complete when Zwiener moved to Berlin in 1898.
Another possibility is that the piano was completely made by Zwiener but retailed by Linke.