Nicolas Blondel, maître in 1743.
This impressive cartel clock depicts the rising of Apollo as sun and poetry deity who is celebrated by 'nereid' water-nymphs; while Aurora's flowers wreath the clock-face's watery cartouche and Cupid indicates the deity's triumph to a 'draco' or 'spirit of Python'.
A very closely related cartel clock was sold from the collection of Baron Achille Seillière, Paris, 5-10 May 1890 and Christie's, Monaco, 2 December 1994, lot 64. Interestingly, it has been linked to the oeuvre of François-Thomas Germain (1726-1791), on the basis of his 1748 inventory and 1749 partnership documents which mention several 'boîtes de pendule de cuivre' while the 1765 inventory mentions: 'un Appolon (sic) et le serpent Piton un Appollon midas et marsias un Appollon et Daphné un enfant deux cadres de pendules'.
François-Thomas Germain was mainly known as orfèvre du Roi; however his oeuvre also includes bronzes d'ameublement (see C. Perrin, François Thomas Germain, St Rémy en l'Eau, 1993, p.220-245). The most celebrated ormolu pieces by Germain include the 'création du monde' clock in Versailles, the Palais Bernstorff wall lights and the chenêts probably made for the duc d'Orléans (discussed in P. Verlet, 'Les chenêts de François-Thomas Germain', in Bulletin des Musées de France, 1935, pp.154-155). Germain was granted a special status by the King, allowing him to work as a silversmith, which was otherwise contravened by guild regulations.