Updates & Items of Interest

Mark and Vavasseur Antiques Featured in Country Life!

Credit: Country Life, 27 September 2023 Issue www.countrylife.co.uk

Hysteresis and the Watkin Hicks Mountain Barometer

This scarce development of the aneroid barometer or altimeter, patented by Colonel H.S.S. Watkin in 1898, was born of poorly performing pressure sensing capsules. It had been known for some time that a first reading before an ascent of some high place would not agree once the observer returned to the same elevation even if the barometric pressure had not...

August Work in Progress

Another fine instrument of particular interest, this large barograph is something quite special, and although unsigned, is undoubtedly the work of Negretti & Zambra. Let’s examine the evidence for this. First, the instrument is listed in the Negretti & Zambra catalogue of 1910 in the section Self-Recording Aneroid Barometers: item 82, a “Self-Recording Barometer, with a tall cylinder taking a...

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