INTRODUCTION – Mark Jarrold
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.