This jardiniére was originally the base for an impressive musical clock and represents the collaboration between one of the most highly regarded fondeur-ciseleurs Jean-Joseph de Saint Germain, with his father, the ébéniste Joseph de Saint Germain.
The two men shared an atelier from 1750-1755 which allowed them to combine their respective skills. Jean-Joseph (1719-1791) was elected a maître fondeur en terre et en sable in 1748 and was particularly renowned for the extremely high level of chasing and modeling of his foliate decorated cases. His father, Joseph, specialized in the production of bases for mantel clocks and the backings for cartel clocks and barometers. Although Joseph produced many bases of this type as early as 1747, it is much more likely that this base was made during the five years in which they shared a workshop.
An almost identical base but with a green horn ground was on a musical clock sold from the collection of Mrs. Robert Lehman at Christie's, New York, 18 October 2002, lot 600. Further examples of St. Germain clock bases are illustrated in P. Kjellberg, La Pendule Française, Paris, 1997, p.128, figs A-B.