conservation

1- Bureau de dame by Francois Linke

Prior to 2008, the desk had been stored for some years in the south east region of the United States near the coast. Due to atmospheric challenges perpetrated to the desk, the carcass had dried out resulting in some cracking and lifting to the veneer with some losses. Areas of oxidation to the gilt-bronzes had also occurred in places and the cupid and cloud mounts surmounting the upper structure of the desk were missing. In 2008, this desk was professionally conserved by Yannick Chastang before its sell at Sotheby's New-York:

-Consolidation and repair to the four broken legs;

-The veneered decoration was re-glued in its original position using re-hydration of the glue and local removal;

-The missing veneer elements were replaced using veneer sheets sourced with the help of Christopher Payne from Francois Linke's original stock dispersed after the cabinetmaker's death in 1946.

-The desk was finished with a wax finish similar to Linke's original finish;

-The mounts have been repaired, cleaned using a neutral Ph chelating agent and re-gilt where necessary;

-The cupid and cloud mounts surmounting the upper structure of the desk have been replaced using castings made directly from the original bronze master model by kind permission and supervision of the Linke Archives/Christopher Payne

-Originally wired for electricity

(text from Sotheby's catalogue)

Before conservation, the desk was valued by Sotheby's between  $80,000 and $120,000.  After conservation, the desk sold for $362,500. 

 

The bureau de dame before conservation

The side panel during conservation

The bureau de dame after conservation

The new bronze mounts, inlcuding the cupid, the cloud and the flowers