Updates & Items of Interest

The Quest for Greater Resolution in Aneroid Barometers

As marvellous an invention as the aneroid barometer was, it had many shortcomings, most of which were approached by various instrument makers over the 100 years or so of production. Resolution, perhaps expressed as the reading to the highest number of decimal places, was an illusive goal. The problem relates to the expansion and contraction of the cell over a...

Conservation & Restoration Services

Barometer repairs or restoration services? We undertake barometer and barograph repairs, restoration and servicing at reasonable rates. We handle aneroid and mercury barometers, barographs, and other scientific instruments. “I had two early instruments which were ‘showing their age’ and needed rejuvenating without losing any of their original looks.  The team at Vavasseur would appear to live and breathe pocket instruments and I would recommend...

Antique Pocket Hypsometers II – Hicks Hypsometer

A very  rare leather cased, lacquered and oxidised brass hypsometer No 590 by J. Hicks, London, c1900 Comprising four draw telescopic top section, the third draw marked "J. Hicks, Maker, 8, 9, & 10 Hatton Garden, London, No 590," first draw with heat shroud. Spirit burner with integral pushfit end cap, threaded wick cover, wind and flame shroud with lower...

About Vavasseur Antiques


My formative years instilled in me a great interest in antiques, living in old houses full of the old, the very old and the curious…and that was just the people! Many of the items I marvelled at, and came to appreciate for what they were and are – a few were quite beyond my comprehension. To be surrounded by items of beauty, interest and association is great privilege indeed. I don’t believe in the term expert since it tends to convey an impression of perfect knowledge. We all learn a little more all the time, given application, and occasionally there may be a ‘eureka’ moment. Analysis of the more interesting pieces is completely compelling: the discovery of a name, a date, a variation in design or pattern is always a draw. One learns something of social demography, engineering and science, sometimes all in one hit. Unfortunately, I am old enough (just) to remember the first electronic calculator, the Sinclair Scientific. The impact these new devices had upon so many disciplines cannot be overstated – so, in the mid-19th century, had the aneroid barometer. A barometer that was without mercury, was light, portable and very accurate: it was the ‘had-to-have’ thing.

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Vavasseur Laboratory Test Equipment
Vavasseur Antiques Gallery Jan 2023