Jean-Joseph de St. Germain, maître in 1748.
Much discussion centers around the paternity of this model of clock. The model exists in two main variants. The first of these, represented by a clock in the Musie des Arts Décoratifs, Paris (H. Ottomeyer/P. Pröschel et al., Vergoldete Bronzen, vol. I, Munich, 1986, vol. I, p. 79, fig. 1.12.6) has been convincingly attributed to Charles Cressent. The Cressent attribution stems from a clock described in the catalogue of the sale of his stock in 1757:
'Une pendule face de bronze sur son pied tout de bronze; elle est coeff d'un enfant sur un nuage; au pied, il y a deux dragons, avec une tjte de Lyon qui sort par un trou.'
Three other examples of this clock are known:- One, the movement signed J.B.BAILLON/APARIS was delivered on 17 February 1745 for the Chambre de la Dauphine at Versailles and was later in the bedroom of Marie-Antoinette. The other forms part of the Grog-Carven donation to the Louvre (illustrated in P. Verlet, Les Bronzes Dorés Frangais du XVIIIe Siècle, Paris, 1989, pp. 283, fig. 315, 193, fig. 220). The third was sold Collection d'un Grand Amateur Européen, Christie's Paris, 14 December 2004, lot 240 (283,250 Euros).
The second group includes a clock and a barometer in the J. Paul Getty Museum (G. Wilson, European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles, 1996, pp. 48-57) and also includes the present clock. Within this group, which have a female mask beneath the dial, some clocks, including the Getty model and that from the collection of Anna Thomson Dodge (sold Christie's London, 24 June 1971, lot 40) have brackets stamped on the ormolu by the bronzier Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain (1719-1791). Others in this group, including a clock sold from the Wildenstein Collection, Christie's London, 14-15 December 2005, lot 43, are stamped on the carcase of the bracket by his ébéniste father Joseph de Saint-Germain.
Jean-Dominique Augarde has put forward the theory that Cressent passed on the right to reproduce this model to one or the other Saint-Germain and that the son designed the new form of bracket seen on the second group of clock, which should be viewed as a collaboration between father and son (L'Estampille/L'Objet d'Art, 'Jean-Joseph de Saint-Germain', December 1996, pp. 62-82). Another clock of this model but lacking a bracket, also signed GUDIN A PARIS, is in the British Royal Collection at Windsor Castle.