West Sea Company

22. Barometers:

Prices in U.S. Dollars are listed in GREEN.




22.45   EARLY FRENCH BAROMETER.  Finest quality late 19th century French barometer made by the legendary maker Paul Naudet of Paris, as stamped on the back and lower dial "PNHB."  This "holosteric" barometer, otherwise known as an "aneroid" barometer, has a clean enameled dial with atmospheric pressure indications from 25.5 to 31.5 inches of mercury.  The calibrations are indicated in 2/100th increments with each tenth identified.   The standard weather indications "STORMY, Much Rain, CHANGE, Fair, Set Fair, and VERY DRY" are prominently indicated.  The lovely, delicate blued steel indicator indicates the reading with the equally delicate brass set needle overrides it to record the previous reading.  The set needle is attached to a fine knurled knob rove through the old wavy glass crystal.  The highly polished solid brass case is a thing of beauty.  Subtly, the brass bezel has decorative brass designs.  At the top, a pivoted suspension loop is provided for hanging.  The back has a small aperture for setting the movement to the proper reading.  5 1/4 inches in diameter by 2 inches thick. Absolutely perfect original condition in all respects.  The movement is lively and accurate.  The presentation is beyond reproach after more the 140 years!  This is a real bargain.  Before Covid-19 this barometer would have easily sold for $450.  Hurry!  This is a beauty! SOLD


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22.43  WALL BAROMETER.  Exquisite mid 19th century wall barometer of French manufacture.  This lovely mercury tube barometer has a rosewood case with porcelain register and thermometer dials.  The barometric dial is marked in centimeters of mercury atmospheric pressure from 73 to 79 cent8imeters calibrated by 10th and marked by 10's from 73 to 79.  The bottom of the porcelain dial is signed "LEGRUIS au R."   The inlaid thermometer above with a large red alcohol bulb and a porcelain scale is marked "Thermometer" at the top.  Confirming its age, the scale is calibrated in degrees Reaumur and Centigrade on either side of the bulb.  It registers from -30 degrees Centigrade to +60 with numerous temperature indications in French.   The movement of this wall barometer contains what is known as a "J Tube," filled with mercury  which supports a floating bob.  It is linked to an incredibly fine rack and pinion movement which operates the indicator needle.  This arrangement is found in only the highest quality stick barometers.  Most are fitted with a simple pulley and string arrangement.  The lovely porcelain dial is calibrated in mercurical centimeters of atmospheric pressure from 72 ½ to 79 ½ or the equivalent of 28 ½ to 31.3 inches.  It bears weather indications "TEMPETE, VARIABLE, and TRES SEC" among others.  The center is adorned with a "snowflake" design overlaid by the ornate gold set needle and the simple black indicator with arrow tip.  The set needle is operated by a detailed cast brass "acorn" knob at the very bottom of the barometer body.  The unglazed face is seated in a very ornate gilded bezel measuring 7 ¼ inches in diameter.  The barometer body is beautiful, rich rosewood with a very delicate string inlay border on all edges.  37 inches tall by 7 ¾ inches wide.  The original hanging bracket is at the top.   The overall condition is absolutely exquisite in all respects.  Both the thermometer and thermometer functions operate well and are very accurate.  969 Special PackagingBack to Top

Because this item contains mercury, shipping may be a problem.  Please consult with us if interested.


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22.42 MOST IMPRESSIVE BAROMETER.  Certainly one of the best barometers of its type we have ever offered on our 40 years in the nautical antique business.  This fine example was made by the noted French maker Paul Naudet Holosteric Barometer “PNHB” as stamped on the back of the solid brass case.  The large silvered brass dial is marked in atmospheric pressure calibrated in inches of mercury from 27.95 to 31.05 in 2/100th increments.  Every 10th of an inch is marked and the whole inches from 20 to 31 are boldly marked.  They are accompanied by the weather indications, “STORMY, Much Rain, Rain CHANGE, Fair Set Fair, and VERY DRY.”   The open-face dial showcases the complicated movement inside with large silver bellows and mechanical linkage.  This aneroid (without liquid) barometer, also known as a “holosteric” barometer * operates a blued steel indicator needle overlaid by a set needle which can be operated through the glass crystal.  At the bottom of the dial are 2 curved thermometers:  one mercury and the other alcohol.  The mercury thermometer reads in degrees Fahrenheit from 22 to 118 degrees in two degree increments marked by 10’s.  The alcohol thermometer has two scales, one in Centigrade and the other Reaumur.   The Centigrade scale is -7 to 5 degrees in single increments and the Reaumur scale reads from -6 to 40.   Both scales are marked by 10’s.  All of this is set under glass contained in the solid brass housing with large pivoting suspension loop on the back.  A small aperture is provided to adjusting the reading.  The back is stamped with the maker’s trademark “PNHB.”   The barometer measures 6 ½ in diameter and is 2 inches deep.  Excellent original cosmetic condition.  The functions are sensitive and very accurate.  695

* The first practical aneroid barometer is generally attributed to Parisian, Lucien Vidie in 1843, who was awarded an English patent for his device in 1844.  Vidie's patent rights expired in 1859, allowing other makers to produce instruments.  The most successful makers in France were Naudet, Hulot & Cie, who reportedly made 20,000 instruments between 1861 and 1866.  1

Another reference to the firm was made by Middleton who states, "...there were several makers soon after the patent expired in 1859, the most successful being Paul Naudet, Hulot, & Cie.  They called them baromètres holostériques...  references occur in the continental literature to Naudet barometers and to holostric barometers for the rest of the nineteenth century.  They acquired a great reputation and were widely imitated." 2  
 
Surprisingly, little is written about the innovative and prolific Paris aneroid barometer maker, Pierre (alternatively "Paul) Naudet, although it is known that his firm was begun in 1861 and continued producing aneroid barometers into the 1930's.  Andy Demeter, writing about the history of the Chelsea Clock Company notes, "With the possible exception of recording barometers, Chelsea did not assemble holosteric or aneroid movements for their barometers preferring to purchase them from the legendary French maker, Pierre (alternatively Paul) Naudet.  His firm's trademark is typically found in a circle on these early barometer dials with the letters "HBPN" as an abbreviation for "Holosteric Barometer, Pierre Naudet.

1. Edwin Banfield, "Barometers Aneroid and Barographs," 1985, Baros Books, Wiltshire, England, p. 21.

2. W.E. Knowles Middleton, "The History of the Barometer," 1964, The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, p. 407.

3. Ibid. p. 409.


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22.41  BAROMETER/ALTIMETER.  Very finest gentleman’s pocket altimeter with the dual function of being a weather forecasting barometer.  The silvered brass dial reads “DOLLOND & AITCHISON, LONDON.”  This precision scientific instrument has an extremely fine indicator needle linked to the aneroid mechanism within.  It has two scales.  The inner dial indicates the atmospheric pressure in inches of mercury from 12 to 31 calibrated in 1/20th inch increments marked in whole inches.  The outer dial registers the altitude from 0 to 10,000 in 50 foot increments marked by thousands.  The outer dial rotates to enable the observer to set the altitude to the local reading.  The back is provided with a small aperture to adjust the barometer function.  The dial is also marked “COMPENSATED” indicating the mechanism was made to account for temperature fluctuations.  The highly complex movement is contained within its original blackened brass (gun metal) case with a folding suspension loop at the top.  The unit fits snugly in its original protective leather-covered wooden case with satin lining.  The instrument measures a mere 1 7/8th inches in diameter by ½ inches thick.  Inclusive of the suspension ring it measures 2 ¾ inches high.  The case measures 2 3/8th inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  Absolutely outstanding original condition in every respect and very, very accurate!  A real gem.  349

Peter Dollond began his optical business on Vine Street, near Hatton Garden, London in April  1750.  Two years later his father, John, joined him in the venture.  The partnership thus formed, became famous worldwide for the quality of their output.  In 1761 John Dollond was appointed optician to King George III and the Duke of York and Albany.  Nearly a century later the firm was awarded the Medal of Excellence for their scientific instruments at The Great Exhibition 1851 in London.

In 1889, James Aitchison established his business in Fleet Street.  In 1927 Dollond & Co. merged with Aitchison & Co, to form Dollond & Aitchison.

Dollond & Aitchison was one of four major British companies that controlled 70% of the United Kingdom's market for glasses and contact lenses.  Dollond & Aitchison were Royal Warrant holders and supplied glasses to the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh.


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22.40   BAROGRAPH.  Superb quality, third quarter 19th century British recording barometer by one of the most famous makers of the era, “LENNIE EDINBURGH” as engraved on the bedplate.  This precision scientific instrument is as lovely as it is accurate.  The complex solid brass mechanism is gold washed.  It consists of a stack of 8 flexible aneroid bellows attached to a linkage which transfers motion to an inking stylus at the end of a long metal trace.   The bellows expand and contract with changes in atmospheric pressure, the extent of which are measured on the revolving clockwork drum.  To set the reading a knurled thumbscrew is at the top of the cross bar of the support columns.  A long arm attached to a knurled knob on the bedplate allows the trace to be disconnected from the drum when not in use.  The drum is encompassed by an interchangeable paper chart calibrated in barometric inches of mercury from 28 to 31 in 5/100th increments on the a axis.  The x axis is calibrated in days of the week divided by 2 hour intervals.   The bottom of the chart is signed “LENNINE 40 PRINCESS STREET EDINB.”  Inside the drum a  jeweled clockwork with built-in winding key revolves the drum precisely once a week to produce a continuous and accurate record of atmospheric changes.   These observations were important for the British Meteorological Office (the “Met” formed in 1854) to help forecast weather at sea for the safety of seamen.  To these ends a large number of blank and actual inked charts are contained in a drawer below.  The mechanism is housed in a handsome splined solid mahogany case with thick beveled glass on all 5 sides.  An articulated brass arm allows the case to be opened and held in place while servicing.  A small bottle of special red recording ink is held in its receptacle.  The entire unit measures 14 ½ inches long by 9 inches wide and 8 3/8 inches tall.  Outstanding original condition.  The clockwork has just been fully serviced by a professional watchmaker.  1495   Special PackagingBack to Top

Eliza Lennie, widow of James Lennie, worked as an optical instrument maker at 40 Princess Street, Edinburgh, Scotland from 1857-1901.  Her husband, James Lennie, began the firm as an optical instrument maker in 1840 until his death, at which time his wife took over the business and traded under the name.  (Edwin Banfield, “Barometer Makers and Retailers 16660-1900,” 1991, Baros Books, Trowbridge, Wiltshire.)


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9.90 / 22.40  POCKET COMPENDIUM.  Remarkable 2nd half of the 19th century English gentleman’s traveling instrument containing FOUR scientificfunctions in one!  This compact device is signed in engraved script “L. Braham & Co. 142 Southampton Row LONDON.”  On the front it features 2 functions, as a barometer and altimeter.  The barometer function, reading effectively from 28 to 31 inches of atmospheric pressure, is marked “RAIN, CHANGE, and FAIR.”  The scale is calibrated in inches of mercury down to 5/100ths.  The second function, the altimeter, indicates the altitude in feet from sea level to 8000 feet in 50 foot increments marked by thousand’s.  Both are indicated by a very fine pointer needle.  To aid in the reading the revolving knurled bezel is equipped with a built-in “bubble” magnifier.  The reverse of this amazing instrument has a curved mercury thermometer reading from -5 to 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  Central to the display is a functional compass made on Singer’s Patent.  The high quality card is made of mother of pearl with a central agate pivot.  The compass is marked in single points of the compass with the cardinal and intercardinal points identified.  North is indicated by a lyre symbol.  Remarkably this miniature compass has a caging device operated by a tiny lever to immobilize the card when not in use!  The instrument is solid brass with traces of original gilding.  It has a pivoting suspension loop at the top and a small aperture at the bottom for setting the barometer reading.  A mere 2 inches in diameter and 1 inch thick.  All functions are working and very accurate.  The best of its type we have seen in our 40 years.  695

Samuel Barry Singer, a master mariner form Southampton, England patented a unique compass card in 1861.  He intended for his design to be used in ships’ compasses, but the dials were most often used in pocket compasses.  His innovation incorporated a distinctive half black, half white card.  The sharp contrast was designed to make reading easier in low light conditions.  The North half of the dial is black and the South white.  The lyre symbol may have had a metaphorical meaning, representing Vega, known as the Harp Star, one of the brightest stars in the Northern Hemisphere in the constellation of Lyre.

Kornelia Takacs, “Compass Chronicles,,” 2010, Schiffer Publications, Atglen, Pennsylvania.


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5.44/22.35   WWII U.S.  NAVY BAROMETER.   Absolutely the finest quality ship’s barometer made for the U.S. Navy in the early 1940’s by the renown American scientific instrument making firm of “FRIEZ, Baltimore” as signed on the bottom of the silvered brass dial.  The dial is marked “PRESSURE INCHES OF MERCURY COMPENSATED.”  Just below the center arbor is the bold inscription “U.S. NAVY BuShips (N) 14809-42” indicating a manufacturing date of 1942.  The dial is calibrated in inches of mercury atmospheric pressure from 27.7 to 31.3.  This is a much broader range than most barometers of that era.   It is subdivided in 2/100th increments marked by tenths.  The reading is indicated by a thin black needle overlaid by a brass set needle connected to the knurled set knob.  This barometer contains the highest grade movement of its type with a double bellows and jeweled pivots!  The needle is operated by a precision rack and pinion gear systems vs. a chain and pulley common in most barometers.  These features make it extremely accurate.  This state-of-the-art weather instrument is housed in its sturdy Bakelite case made by the General Electric Company with its iconic “GE” logo.  It is a bulkhead-mounted barometer with a thick back flange and three nickel-reinforced mounting holes.  A small aperture in the rear of the case is provided for setting the reading to local conditions.  6 ½ in diameter by 2 5/8 inches deep.   Outstanding original condition.  Super accurate!  395


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22.19  MOUNTAIN BAROMETER.   Scarce early 1900’s American-made aneroid barometer for use at altitude.   This lovely precision weather instrument has a white enameled brass dial protected by a glass face.  The bottom of the dial is signed “Taylor Rochester, N.Y. U.S.A. / Toronto, Canada.”  At the top it is marked “PAT. AUG. 18-1914.”  The dial is calibrated in inches of mercury reading from 26 to 31 in tenths of inches, divided by 2/100ths.  It is also marked with the standard weather indications “~STORMY – RAIN –CHANGE * FAIR – VERY DRY~.”  A blackened steel indicator needle points to the precise reading, overlaid by a brass set needle connected to a knurled brass knob through the glass.  The barometer is contained within its lovely solid bronze case with pivoting suspension loop at the top.  The unique feature of this barometer is on the back.  Rotating the knurled brass plate moves the entire  movement within, thus setting the reading for a given altitude.   The rim of the plate is calibrated in “FEET” of altitude from “3500 to 7000” in 100 foot increments.  Instructions read “ROTATE THIS PLATE UNTIL ARROW ON CASE POINTS TO THE ALTITUDE OF YOUR LOCALITY.  PATENTED AUGUST 18-1914.”  5 ¼ inches in diameter and 2 ½ inches deep.  6 ¼ inches tall overall including the suspension loop.  This fine instrument is fully functional and in a virtually pristine state of original preservation.  395


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22.33 RARE AMERICAN STICK BAROMETER! Extremely rare sailing ship barometer made by the pioneer nautical American makers, “E & GW BLUNT, NEW YORK” as precisely-engraved on the ivory register. Truly an incredible find! This classic old fashioned ship’s gimbaled barometer is made entirely of rich rosewood with ivory scales and all brass hardware. Distinctively American, its simple, slim design is elegant yet functional. The registers (scales) are beautifully-engraved. The left scale exhibits the weather indications “FAIR, CHANGE, RAIN.” On the right the scale is calibrated from 27 to 31 inches divided by tenths. A sliding vernier, activated by an ivory rack and pinion knob just below, is divided from 1 – 10 providing a precise readout to one 1/100th of an inch. The register is overlaid by its original old wavy glass retained with rosewood moldings. The mid-body of this instrument has the original brass gimbal which pivots within the barometer body in ivory grommets. The gimbal ring fits nicely into the solid brass yoke attached to a turned rosewood mount, allowing the barometer to swing properly in a seaway. Below the gimbal is the mercury thermometer with ivory scale marked in single degrees Fahrenheit from 18 to 108 F. Perhaps the most unusual aspect of this stick barometer is its innovative open cistern – a real departure from contemporary English and French barometers of the time, and evidence of the Blunt brothers’ cutting edge manufactory. The open cistern is protected by old wavy glass in keeping with the register. The compartment is backed by an ivory slab engraved “PATENT MARINE.” It contains the original hand-blown glass tube protected by two silvered brass covers. This simple but effective arrangement is similar to the “J” tubes used in terrestrial mercury wall barometers of the era. Despite its relative simplicity compared with English Victorian barometers of its age, this working ship’s instrument has a lovely pediment at the top and a sculpted, curvaceous cistern cover on the bottom. The entire instrument is in a remarkable state of original preservation considering it is at least 175 years old! It measures 41 inches high overall and 4 inches wide at the widest. It projects 7 inches outward from the bulkhead as mounted. Shipped without mercury. However arrangements can be made to fill the instrument and make it fully functional and accurate. This is certainly a Smithsonian candidate, if not already in that collection. 2887 Special PackagingBack to Top

The sibling partnership of Edmund and George William Blunt was formed in 1824 in New York under the name E. & G. W. Blunt. They were sons of Edmund March Blunt, famous publisher of “Blunt’s Nautical Almanac” of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Following a disastrous fire in 1811, the elder Blunt moved to New York City, where he continued his publishing. According to M.V. Brewington in “The Peabody Museum Collection of Navigating Instruments”…”The firm was possibly the most progressive in the United States, thanks perhaps to George joining the U.S. Coast Survey.” By 1833 they were the American agents for the foremost British chronometer makers. In 1836 they set up their own astronomical observatory in Brooklyn. By 1850 they were publishing a nautical almanac of their own and had agents in 20 East Coast and Gulf cities. In 1856 they completed a dividing engine on George’s design. They had many other accomplishments in the nautical realm. Edmund died shortly after the Civil War and George retired a year later. The firm sold out to John Bliss & Co., in 1871. George died in 1878.


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22.24  “MOUNTAIN” BAROMETER.  Quite scarce early 1900’s American “Mountain Barometer” with the unique feature of being adjustable for altitude (elevation).  This precision instrument was made by the Tycos Company of Rochester, N.Y. as signed on the bottom of the white enameled dial.  The dial is calibrated for atmospheric pressure  in inches of mercury spanning the wide range from 25 to 31 inches in 2/100th increments marked by 10’s.  It bears the standard weather indications “@STORMY @ RAIN, CHANGE * FAIR @ VERY DRY @” with the added notations “LOW & HIGH.”  At the top it is marked “PAT. AUG.-18-1914.”  The reading is indicated by a fine blued steel needle overlaid by a brass “set needle” with knurled brass knob rove through the beveled glass cover.  The body of this instrument is solid bronze in its original flawless golden lacquer finish.   The back of this instrument bears the rare patented feature which allows it to be adjustable.  It consists of  a knurled disc calibrated in feet of elevation from 0 to 3,500.  The engraved instructions read, “FOR A SEA LEVEL READING ROTATE THIS PLATE UNTIL THE ARROW ON THE CASE POINTS TO THE ALTITUDE OF YOUR LOCALITY.”  The back also has an aperture for a set screw to further adjust the movement.  The top is equipped with a pivoting brass loop for hanging.  5 ¼ inches in diameter and 6 inches high overall.  Absolutely perfect condition is all respects.  The precise mechanism is lively and accurate.  The best!  349


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22.27  FRENCH BROMETER with THERMOMETER.   Finest quality late 19th century aneroid barometer made by the highly respected Parisian barometer making firm of Paul Naudet as indicated on the small “PNHB” logo at the top of the dial.  This handsome example has a silvered open face which frames the complex movement within.  The dial indicates atmospheric pressure in inches of mercury calibrated from 27.8 to 31.2 in 2/100th increments marked by 10ths.   It shows the standard weather indications of “STORMY, RAIN, CHANGE, FAIR and VERY DRY.”  At the top of the aperture it is marked “Made In France” and “HOLOSTERIC BAROMETER” (without liquid).   Of much added value and desirability is the fact it is fitted with a large curved mercury tube marked “FAHRENHEIT THERMOMETER” registering an exceptionally broad range of -18 to 148 degrees in 2 degree increments. The barometric read-out is made by the very precise blued steel indicator needle, overridden by the brass set needle attached to a knurled knob.  The knob runs through the beveled glass crystal with its old wavy glass.  The solid rose bronze case is of traditional form with a pivoting suspension loop at the top for hanging, but also fitted with a stout brass hanger for hard mounting to the ship’s bulkhead top and bottom.  This lovely antique barometer has just been professionally serviced and both functions are guaranteed to be lively and accurate. 5 ¼  inches in diameter,  2  1/8 inches deep and 6 1/8 inches high overall.  In our 35 years handling antique barometers, there are no finer examples than those marked PNHB.  For an accurate, functional instrument which is very decorative and has value as an antique, this is it!  The best.  595


The first practical aneroid ("without liquid") barometer is generally attributed to Parisian, Lucien Vidie in 1843, who was awarded an English patent for his device in 1844.  Vidie's patent rights expired in 1859, allowing other makers to produce instruments.  The most successful makers in France were Naudet, Hulot & Cie, who reportedly made 20,000 instruments between 1861 and 1866.  (1)

Another reference to the firm was made by Middleton who states, "...there were several makers soon after the patent expired in 1859, the most successful being Naudet, Hulot, & Cie.  According to Le Roux they made 20,000 aneroid barometers between 1861 and 1866.  They called them baromètres holostériques...  references occur in the continental literature to Naudet barometers and to holosteric barometers for the rest of the nineteenth century.  They acquired a great reputation and were widely imitated." (2)  Middleton goes on to state,  "For many purposes aneroids continued to be made - and are indeed still made - of a form very like that arrived at by Naudet, Hulot & Cie about 1860." (3)   In the Appendix is an entry for a barometer held in the collection of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.  It reads, "230,002  A "Holosteric  Barometer- Compensated, "made by Naudet & Co. Marked on the back of the case, U.S. Signal Service" (4) indicating manufacture around the time of the First World War.

Surprisingly, little is written about the innovative and prolific Paris aneroid barometer maker, Pierre (alternatively "Paul”) Naudet, although it is known that his firm was begun in 1861 and continued producing aneroid barometers into the 1930's. 

The dating and meaning of the markings HBPN (alternatively PNHB) are less clear.  An entry for a barometer sold on eBay indicates the markings refer to "Hulot, Pertius & Naudet, Paris, barometer makers in the 1930's.  However Andy Demeter, writing about the history of the Chelsea Clock Company notes, "With the possible exception of recording barometers, Chelsea did not assemble holosteric or aneroid movements for their barometers preferring to purchase them from the legendary French maker, Pierre (alternatively Paul) Naudet.  His firm's trademark is typically found in a circle on these early barometer dials with the letters "HBPN" as an abbreviation for "Holosteric Barometer, Pierre Naudet." (5)  On page 220 a barometer dial is pictured with the caption, "1909 Pierre Naudet barometer."

1. Edwin Banfield, "Barometers Aneroid and Barographs," 1985, Baros Books, Wiltshire, England, p. 21.
2. W.E. Knowles Middleton, "The History of the Barometer," 1964, The Johns Hopkins Press, Baltimore, p. 407.
3. Ibid. p. 409.
4. Ibid. p. 464.
5. Andrew Demeter, "Chelsea Clock Company, The First Hundred Years," 2001, Demeter Publications, Ltd., Boston, Massachusetts, p. 221.

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22.21  CARVED SHIP's BAROMETER. Very handsome mid-1800s Captain’s cabin  barometer undoubtedly from a sailing ship.  This lovely example combines form and function in a  shipboard instrument which has a hard-fired white porcelain dial calibrated in inches of atmospheric pressure from 27.7 to 31.3.  It also has more unusual weather notations reading:  GALES, STORMY WET CHANGEABLE, FINE, CALM, and SET FAIR at the top and -.FALLS.-MORE WIND FROM S.WLY., S.E., S.W. ARM, WET (then the trident) and, -.RISE.- N.ELY, N.W.N.E OR LESS WIND. COLD DRY.   Key words are highlighted in RED.  Of added appeal, and certainly increasing its value as a real ships barometer, is the fact that an old fashioned anchor is depicted at the center of the dial and Neptune's trident is shown at the bottom.  While unsigned, it is our opinion that this barometer was made by Martin of Swansea, a noted English ships' barometer maker circa 1860.  It has a brass bezel with thick beveled glass through which the brass set needle overlies the black indicator needle.  The body of the barometer is carved in the traditional ropework manner out of rich dark oak.  The original heavy brass hanging bracket is countersunk on the reverse.  The entire instrument measures 9 ½ inches in diameter and 3 1/4 inches thick, while the dial itself is 6 1/4 inches across. Outstanding, pristine original condition throughout!  Fully functional and accurate.  Truly a fantastic example.  579

According to Edwin Banfield in Barometer Makers And Retailers 1660-1900, 1991, Baros Books, Wiltshire, England, Felix Martin was a watch and clock maker in Swansea from 1850-1870.  We had and sold a nearly identical barometer with a plain, but signed dial by this maker.


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22.25   IDENTIFIED U.S. MARITIME COMMISSION BAROMETER.  High quality World War II vintage merchant ship’s barometer made for the U.S. Maritime Commission by the famous American scientific instrument making firm of “Taylor Instrument Companies, Rochester, N.Y., U.S.A.” as marked on the pristine white dial.  This pilot house barometer is marked “PRESSURE Inches of Mercury Compensated” from 27.7 to 31 .3 in 2/100th increments marked by 10ths swept by a blackened steel indicator needle.  The dial is protected by its glass crystal housed in the original black Bakelite ship’s bulkhead-mounted case measuring 6 ½ inches in diameter on the flange.  This sealed unit has a pivoting brass cover on the back which protects the aperture provided for adjusting the reading.  It is the first such feature of this quality we have yet encountered in a barometer.  Attached to the barometer is an old work tag stamped “MACK BRUNTON BRYAN” then penned in old ink, “Merchant + Miners Trans. Co.”  This barometer is in excellent working and cosmetic condition in all respects.  Its indication of the barometric pressure is lively and accurate.  349

The Merchant and Miners Transportation Company of Baltimore was begun in 1852 to provide passenger and cargo service between Baltimore and Boston. The fledgling steamship line began operations with two wooden hull side wheelers.  In 1859, two iron hull steamers joined the fleet and the port of Providence, Rhode Island was added to their itinerary.  From 1861 through 1864 the company was shut down due to the Civil War.  After a slow return to business as usual the company ordered a new ship in 1869.  By the 1870’s business was again flourishing enabling the company to acquire the Baltimore & Savannah Steamship Company in 1876 to enter the cotton trade between Savannah, Charleston and New York.  The company continued to expand in the 1880’s and added Newport News and Norfolk to its ports of call.  In 1900 a Philadelphia - Savannah service was begun.  In 1907 the Winsor Line of Philadelphia with its fleet of seven steamers was purchased.  A new route between Baltimore and Jacksonville commenced in 1909 and in 1920 a service to Havana, Cuba was briefly operated.   Nassau, Bahamas was added 1939.   As the United States entered into World War II most of the company's floating assets were requisitioned for war duty by the end of 1942.  With the end of hostilities, denied of its ability to generate revenue during the war years, the company’s owners considered it impractical to purchase war weary ships from the Government or to build new ships.  In 1948 the company’s trade ended and it was officially closed in 1952.

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22.06  ANTIQUE BAROGRAPH.  Extraordinary, scientific grade turn-of-the-last-century weather instrument made by the well known English makers “Short & Mason, London.”  This lovely, fully functional instrument embodies the long-standing British penchant for form and function.  As such, the precision mechanism with gilded brass works and hardwood housing is a thing of beauty.  It employs 12 evacuated silvered bellows connected with a complex linkage system to a stylus holding an inking pen.  The linkage is all brass with steel pivots as mounted to the gilded brass bedplate.  It is decoratively-engraved with its makers, “Short & Mason London.”  The quill-type pen records a trace on the revolving drum.  A lever mounted on the front of the bedplate allows the pen to be lifted from the drum when not in use.  The brass drum is turned by a jeweled clockwork mechanism which runs for 8 days on a single wind, making one revolution per week.  To these ends there is a Fast/Slow adjustment feature under the removable brass cover and a separate winding key.  The interchangeable chart paper graph encompassing the drum is marked from 28 to 31 inches of barometric pressure in 1/10th increments on the “y” axis and is marked Monday through Sunday in 2 hour increments on the “x” axis.  The glazed wooden case is made of rich mahogany with all brass fittings and is supported on 4 wooden feet.  The sturdy scalloped base is complete with pull-out drawer containing 2 compartments.  The forward compartment is filled with original, unused gummed graph charts.  In addition there is an original pamphlet reading “S and M STORMGRAPH RECORDING BAROMETER, Directions For Use.”  The second compartment is for storing recorded charts.  The upper removable case contains its original old glass on all 5 sides.   This instrument measures 14 3/8 inches long by 8 ½ inches wide and 8 1/2 inches high.  Complete with the original ink vile with ground glass stopper and contents!  The entire presentation is in an outstanding state of original preservation, fully functional (the clock keeps good time) and is complete with at least 20 spare recording charts in pristine original condition.  Price Request Special Packaging


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22.09  WEATHER GLASS.   Authentic hand-blown glass weather instrument known as a weather glass, storm glass or thunder glass, as found in the homes of sea captains from the 17th through the19th centuries.  This exacting copy consists of a one piece glass vial with a hanging eye at the top, a curved swan’s neck spout, and terminates in a bulbous glass bottom.   It is complete with a hand-wrought hanging bracket of copper and brass.  In use the glass is partially filled with water so that the level can be seen within the spout.  Weather changes accompanied by varying atmospheric pressure are evident in the rise and fall of the water level in the spout.  The hanging bracket measures 12 inches tall overall and the glass is 9 inches tall and 3 ½ inches wide.  Perfect condition.  49

Bert Bolle in “Barometers,” 1982, Argus Books, Watford, Herts, England discusses the Thunder glass or “donderglas” stating, “The title of “weather glass” is more apt than “barometer” in the context of the instrument shown.  A barometer is a measuring instrument, as such, has a scale; a thunder glass does not have a scale.  Therefore the term “weather glass” is more suitable for this, nonetheless, decorative antique."

"In the illustration, one can see that the glass is hung from a small hole at the top and is filled with liquid.  This can be water with a dye if desired.  The instrument, about 10 inches high, functions on the principle that variation in air pressure will cause fluctuation in the water level in the spout.  Without a doubt, this instrument is only partly reliable as it is greatly influenced by variations in ambient temperature.  However, if the thunder glass is hung in a place where variations in temperature are minimized, it is an excellent indicator of variations in air pressure."

"Thunder glasses were characteristically Dutch and production got under way sometime in the early 17th century."
This example comes complete with the original instructions printed when we commissioned an old-school glass blower to make a few of these instruments in 1983.  Since then they have been in storage for more than 30 years!


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22.13  BAROMETER / ALTIMETER.  Large, extra nice late 19th century English gentleman’s traveling barometer with the dual function of being an altimeter. This unusually large portable instrument is in the form of a pocket watch with bow and retains its bright brass finish.  The silvered brass dial is hand-engraved.  It is calibrated from 25.5 to 31 inches of barometric pressure, divided down to 2/100ths of an inch.  It is marked “Compensated” and “Made in England”   The outer rim of the dial is marked in “FEET” from 0 to 5,000 divided down to amazing 20 foot increments!  To set and record a reading the rim revolves.  This is provided with pinpoint accuracy by the extremely fine steel indicator needle which is little more than a hair’s width in diameter!  This instrument is complete within its silk and satin-lined, hinged wooden case with Moroccan leather cover.  A small spring-loaded lever with brass button latch secures the case when closed.  3 ¼ inches in diameter and 1 ¼  inches thick.  The dial itself measures 2 ½  inches across.  Fully functional and accurate.  595


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22.17   ANEROID  SHIP’s BAROMETER/THERMOMETER.   Superb, early 1900’s ship’s mounted barometer.  Certainly one of the finest of its kind to be found, this extra high grade barometer was made by the legendary French firm of Paul Naudet for the equally famous American nautical instrument makers and chandlers, “T. S. & J.D. Negus Navigation Warehouse 140 Water Street, New York,” as engraved on the pristine silvered brass dial.   This aneroid barometer is also marked “HOLOSTERIC (meaning “solid, without liquid”) BAROMETER” and “Made In France” at the top of the dial.  It is calibrated in inches of mercury from 27.8 to 31.2 in 2/100th increments and is boldly marked with the standard weather indications “STORMY, RAIN, CHANGE, FAIR and VERY DRY.”  Adding to its functionality and desirability the lower half of the dial is equipped with a curved mercury thermometer reading “FAHRENHEIT THERMOMETER” calibrated in 2 degree increments from 6 to 136 degrees.  A fine blued steel needle indicates the barometric pressure while a brass set needle attached to a knurled knob shows changes.  The set needle is rove through the beveled glass crystal, held in place by the brass bezel.  The barometer case is all brass with three  brass mounting lugs screwed and soldered to the back for very secure mounting to the ship’s bulkhead.  In addition to an adjusting screw, the back of the case is also marked with the familiar Naudet logo of “PNHB” (Paul Naudet Holosteric Barometer) in a circle.  The dial measures 5 inches across while the entire instrument is 5 ½ inches wide and 2 inches thick.  Magnificent original condition with a nice old age patina.  Fully functional and accurate.  They don’t come any nicer!  549


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