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Cronier the Younger

Cronier jeune élève de Robin”


The signature “Cronier jeune élève de Robin” appears only on horological masterpieces. Among the other known clocks that are also signed “Cronier jeune élève de Robin”, one astronomic clock was formerly offered on the art market in Switzerland. Despite the evident technical mastery of this clockmaker, little historical information is available about him. We know that he was mentioned in Paris during the Empire period in the Place des Trois-Maries (see J. de la Tynna, Almanach du commerce de Paris, des départements de l’Empire et des principales villes du monde, Paris, XIIe année, 1809, p.198). He was probably related to Antoine Cronier (or Crosnier), one of the best Parisian clockmakers of the second half of the 18th century, whose daughter Elizabeth-Emilie married a Parisian clockmaker named Antoine-Marie Philibert on 13 ventose year VII (circa 1798), and who lived at 50 Place du Pont Michel. At the time of the marriage, Antoine Cronier had two sons who were briefly mentioned, François-Antoine-Louis and Pierre-Joseph, but who were no doubt too young to be apprentices in Robin’s workshop, for they still lived with their parents at 140 rue Honoré. Jean-Baptiste-François Cronier, a second clockmaker who was active during the reign of Louis XVI, and who was almost certainly related to Antoine Cronier, is an interesting candidate – he became a master on September 27, 1781, had a son named Jean-François who also became a horologist, had a workshop in the Quai de la Mégisserie. It may be that he initially signed “Cronier jeune”, and then, after his younger brother became a clockmaker, signed “Cronier aîné” to differenciate between their work (see Tardy, Dictionnaire des horlogers français, Paris, 1971, p. 148).