Georges-Adrien MERLET

né en 1754

The émailleur Georges-Adrien Merlet was born in 1754. He was the son of Jean Merlet, a grocer, and Angelique Boyelledieu. He started his apprentiiceship with Elie Barbezat, an enameler and member of the Académie de Saint-Luc, on October 30, 1767. Active circa 1780, and probably the successor to Barbezat, in 1784 he was living in the rue Bertin-Poirée, where he remained at least until 1802. He then resided in the rue des Lavandières-Sainte-Opportune, where he was said to have been living in 1812.

Merlet was, together with Joseph Coteau and H. Fr. Dubuisson, one of the three great enamelers of clock dials of the end of the eighteenth and the beginning of the nineteenth centuries. His oldest datable works are the dials for the clock "aux sultanes", with a movement by Urbain Jarossay, executed for the comte d'Artois by François Rémond in 1783. Merlet supplied a great number of clock-makers with dials, including the Lepaute, Louis Berthoud, Nicolas Collard, Darlot, Jollin l'aîné, Jean-Antoine Lépine, Liesse (in Rouen), Pierre Gravelle l'aîné, Charles-Guillaume Manière, Mugnier, Robert Robin, Léonard Roque, Simon Roy and Nicolas Sotiau.

He also enameled skeleton clocks, the gilt-bronze friezes of which were made in the manner of Etienne Martincourt, and put them on the market under his own name along with various other highly decorated clocks. As can be seen fromthe clock by Folin l'aîné at the Getty Museum, Merlet's art is characterized by great delicacy. The dial of the clock "aux sultanes" demonstrates that even at the outset of his career he was the equal of Coteau and Dubuisson.


"European Clocks in the J. Paul Getty Museum"
The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles - 1996