Joseph Coteau (1740-1801) was a well-respected French enameller who worked on skeleton clocks during the revolutionary period from 1789-1799. Image depicted (left) shows a gilt and enamelled bronze (chased) marble skeleton clock; (430x250x140cm) Foundation Napoleon Paris. (Donation Lapeyre inv.809).
Although Joseph Coteau came from Geneva, he worked in Paris, at the rue Poupée, St. André des Arts; and later became the maître in 1778.
In 1780, he was appointed Peintre-émailleur du roi et de la Manufacture Royale de Porcelaine de Sèvres. Over the next few years he did piece-work there while working as an independent painter in Paris, specializing in enamel watch-cases and clock dials.
By 1784, he was no longer working for Sèvres pottery but continued to supply fine dials, plaques and enamel cases to important Parisian clock-makers.
Therefore, Coteau’s work could always be guaranteed as regular as clockwork.