An unusual bright plated cased aneroid pocket barometer altimeter, compass and thermometer compendium by Maxant, retailed by LC Vickery c1900
Pocket barometer having 1½” diameter silvered and die struck two piece open centre dial, the outer bezel rotated altimetric scale calibrated in feet with a range from 0 – 10,000ft and divided to 100ft, inner barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 21” – 31” and divided to 1/10th”. Cantilevered movement driven from a single internally sprung 1” capsule, contained within a drum form case having engine turned finishers. Blued steel pointer under low domed bevelled glass. Case extension and suspension ring.
The verso having compass with bronzed card displaying cardinal and inter-cardinal points, blued steel pointer with jewelled suspension under low domed bevelled glass. Circular thermometer set on the outer card and against a register calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit with a range from 0 – 120°. Calibration port. Transit locking lever to case side.
All presented in its original fine green leather over timber, green velvet and moire silk lined case, the lid top and returns decorated with fine line gold embossed scrolls, the lid silk carrying the Royal Crown of appointment, and “J.C. Vickery, to the King & Queen, Regent Street, W.” Snap closure on a button release.
Condition: The subject of a full service, conservation and calibration under laboratory conditions. At the time of servicing, the barometer was not working – indeed it seems that might have been the case from a very early point and which would largely explain the really very good overall condition. A given gift that could not be used, nor returned, but simply put away. The barometer now working well within the normal barometric range, unable to resolve the very much lower pressures – this though is very common with antique instruments and caused by a number of factors relating to age.
Both dials present well with no signs of damage other than slight ageing, the compass easily finding north, the lock working perfectly, the thermometer working. The bright plated case with minor marks but retaining virtually all its finish. The travel case in very good overall condition, some minor external marks and slight losses to bottom corner, the fabric interior in fine condition retaining virtually all its original colour and vibrancy with virtually no signs of wear.
Comments: I have often found that the best items that surface are in fact broken in some respect, surviving in this condition for this reason. Of course we don’t know for sure, but this instrument is so good it clearly has not been handled very much at all. It is, though modest in making, the work of Léon Maxant Sr., capable of very fine making but also a supplier to the general market place. The image shows the exact same double sided instrument in a Maxant catalogue of 1896. This compendium does work, and presents with wonderful aesthetics, standing as an important collector’s piece based on its condition and rarity.
Very much for the connoisseur and collector alike.
Dimensions: Compendium - 1⅞" diameter x 1" deep; Travel Case - 2⅞" wide x 3⅝" long x 1½" deep
Stock No: CP2151