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Important Francois Linke bibliotheque highlights significant California collections of 19th century furniture
Francois Linke bibliotheque from the collection of Jack and Helen Tramiel of Monte Sereno, Calif. Estimate: $400,000-600,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

SAN FRANCISCO, CA.- Bonhams announced it will offer a recently rediscovered Francois Linke Louis XV/XVI style gilt bronze and marquetry bibliotheque a trois portes (est. $400,000-600,000) in its Fine European Furniture and Decorative Arts auction, March 17 in San Francisco.

The bibliotheque is from the collection of Jack and Helen Tramiel of Monte Sereno, Calif. It is one of Linke's masterpieces and is illustrated in Christopher Payne's “Nineteenth Century European Furniture.” The 11 marquetry trophy panels, impressive scale and jewel-like ormolu mounts combine to make the bibliotheque one of the finest examples of 19th century cabinetmaking.

The Tramiel collection joins another prominent San Francisco Bay Area collection offering some of the best examples of 19th century decorative arts, including works by Linke, Zwiener, Dasson, Kahn, Barbedienne and Sevres. A rare Zwiener table de nuit (est. $30,000-50,000); a superb Linke Louis XVI style gilt bronze and bisque mounted commode, after Riesener (est. $40,000-60,000); a pair of Linke beds (est. $25,000-35,000); a pair of Sevres style covered urns, signed by Colpot (est. $10,000-15,000); and a fine pair of Neo-Grec 10-light gilt bronze candelabra by Barbedienne (est. $6,000-8,000) are some of the highlights of the collection.

An exquisite pair of George III mahogany library chairs (est. $40,000-60,000) are being offered from yet another California collection; as well as a superb William and Mary parcel gilt and oyster veneered collector's cabinet (est. $30,000-50,000); and a fine English Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted bureau plat (est. $30,000-50,000).

Bonhams will also offer property from the collection of John Drum of San Francisco. Drum & Company was one of the foremost dealers of fine furniture and decorative arts in San Francisco for more than 30 years. On offer from the collection will be a pair of Venetian Rococo parcel gilt and painted figures of Moors second half (est. $8,000-12,000); a George I style parcel gilt chinoiserie secretary (est. $5,000-8,000); several Louis XV style gilt bronze mounted walnut commodes (est. $5,000-8,000); and a north Italian Rococo console table (est. $5,000-8,000). There will also be chic examples of contemporary design, including two eggshell lacquered commodes in the manner of Jean Dunand (each est. $3,000-5,000). These join an unusual and fine Jansen table from another collector that was customized to incorporate six Limoges enameled plaques of Roman emperors (est. $5,000-8,000).

Of the sale, Jeffrey Smith, Vice President and Director of the Furniture and Decorative Arts Department at Bonhams, commented, “We are pleased to bring forward two renowned collections of 19th century masterpieces which have not been on the market for more than 40 years. This promises to be a sale of discovery and beauty."

The sale’s illustrated catalogue will be available online in the weeks preceding the sale, for review and purchase at

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