Zwiener - Linke Circular Table Zwiener - Linke Circular Table Zwiener - Linke Circular Table Zwiener - Linke Circular Table Zwiener - Linke Circular Table
An Ormolu-Mounted and Kingwood Marquetry Circular Centre Table

By Joseph Emmanuel Zwiener, circa 1890

The circular top inlaid with a floral spray on cabriole legs tapering to scrolled sabots, with spurious signature F. Linke

26 ½ in (67.3 cm) high, 29 ¾ in (65.5 cm) diameter
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Born in Herdon, Germany in 1849, Joseph-Emmanuel Zwiener is recorded as having worked in Paris at 12 rue de la Roquette from 1880 to 1895. His successful atelier executed elegant pieces of furniture replicating articles from the Garde-Meuble National of France, most notably the celebrated bureau de Roi by Jean-Henri Riesener and Jean-François Oeben. He exhibited at the 1878 Paris Exposition, the 1889 Paris Exposition, and the 1900 Paris Exposition. He was awarded a gold medal at the 1889 Exhibition for a stand which included an exceptional cabinet designed by Leon Messagé. Working mainly in a vigorous interpretation of the French Rococo style, Zwiener's furniture is, as here, often inset with the finest marquetry, vernis Martin panels and applied with flowing gilt-bronze mounts.

In 1898, on receiving an important royal commission from Friedrich Wilhelm II of Prussia, Zwiener returned to Berlin as the King would not order furniture from overseas makers when furnishing his palaces, preferring to order work from native Germans only. He was then known as Julius Zwiener. Many of the pieces executed by Zwiener for the Prussian royal palaces were brought to Huis Doorn in Utrecht in 1918, where the Kaiser lived in exile until his death in 1941.

In 1895 his workshop was taken over by the important émigré and ébéniste, François Linke, who Christopher Payne speculates may have worked under Zwiener when he first arrived in Paris in 1875. Linke is known to have also taken on Zwiener’s sculptor Leon Messagé. For this reason many of Zwiener’s pieces have often been attributed to Linke.

Zwiener continued to work in Germany, after giving up his Paris workshop in 1895: in 1900 he participated in the German section of the Paris Exhibition, where he exhibited the famous bedroom suite made for the Kaiser. Zwiener is credited with introducing into Berlin the ‘meuble de style’ and his work is renowned for the Louis XIV and Régènce styles and inspiration from Caffieri and Cressent.