P.P. Vedenetsky (?)
Ivan Kulibin (1735-1818) was a talented Russian inventor, who from 1770 was head of the mechanical workshop of the Russian Academy of Sciences.
In the spring of 1791 Potiomkin approached the Russian mechanic and inventor Ivan Kulibin with a request to assemble the Peacock Clock ("bring his little birds to life"). In October 1791, a matter of months after his request to Kulibin, the Prince died. Empress Catherine II gave orders for the clock to be completed at the expense of the state. Kulibin was given the parts of the mechanism packed in a number of hampers (the clock had been taken apart for ease of transportation). Kulibin drew up a plan of restoration, as he noted in his "memorandum" of 1792: "... from my examination it emerges that this machine must indeed be mended in various places, several new devices made in place of lost ones, the gilding and silvering redone in some places, all the internal and external parts of the machine cleaned, bent leaves on the branches of the tree and plant corrected. I undertake as before to assemble it and set it going." A list survives of all the parts of the mechanism that Kulibin received, from which it is evident that the cockerel and peacock were not dismantled, while the parts of the owl and its cage were packed in hampers. Many pieces had been lost by that time and only Kulibin was able to grasp how the mechanism should work and restore the missing parts.
The work was completed by 1794 and the clock occupied its place in the Taurida Palace that by that time had been purchased by the state on the Empress's orders.
After Catherine's death, Emperor Paul I commanded that the clock be moved to the Hermitage, which it had been intended to adorn from the first.