In the late 1700s, Robert-Joseph Auguste's works in gold, silver, and bronze were renowned throughout Europe. In 1776 an English silversmith described Auguste in a letter: "as I have not seen the best productions of Monsr Auguste I therefore presume I have seen nothing. His fame I am persweded is founded on superior Merit because I have heard so many Noblemen of good Tast concur in ye same opinion of him...."
As a young man, Auguste worked with several different goldsmiths but was never officially apprenticed. A special court order freed him from this guild necessity because he produced work for the king. He was one of the first Parisian goldsmiths to execute pieces in the Neoclassical style. His patrons included royalty and aristocracy, both in France and abroad. Auguste was the favorite goldsmith of Louis XVI, king of France, and carried out many commissions for the court, including the crown used at Louis' coronation. Madame de Pompadour, Catherine II of Russia, and the Count de Creutz, the Swedish Ambassador to the French court, were among Auguste's other prominent customers.