Joseph Coteau (1740-1812) was possibly the most famous enameller of his day, supplying dials for the great clockmakers of France. Born in Geneva he became maître-peintre-émailleur at the Académie de Saint-Luc in Geneva in 1766. By 1772 he was installed in Rue Poupée, Paris. Coteau is celebrated not only for his dials but also as a skilled miniaturist. He discovered a new method for fixing raised gold on porcelain and worked closely with the Sèvres factory in developing their 'jewelled' porcelain. After the abolition of the guilds in 1791, enamellers were allowed to sell complete clocks without being required to include the name of the clockmaker.
A very similar clock enamelled by Coteau, which incorporates a subsidiary dial with Republican hours and minutes in the place of the medallion painted on the present clock, is illustrated, J.-D. Augarde, Les Ouvriers du Temps, Geneva, 1996, p. 103, pl. 66. It furthermore has a similar phase of the moon arch and is decorated with similar medallions enamelled en grisaille.