A very good French made nautical theme clock, aneroid barometer, compass and thermometer novelty desk compendium c1880
Arranged on an oval polished oak base bordered by twisted gilded brass emulating rope, the tableau centred on two life rings and decorated with similarly emulated rope with bindings, crossed oars surmounted by a detailed fouled anchor with crown, shank and stock.
Detail: The clock having 3½” enamel dial, Arabic chapter ring, the central part with polished brass disc having affixed detailed symmetrical design, blued steel stylised cathedral hands, bevelled glass, 8 day movement with platform escapement, setting and winding squares, key.
The aneroid barometer having standard meteorological terms, the barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 26″ – 31″ divided down to 1/20″. Blued steel pointer, gilt brass index, matching dial centre, bevelled glass, the good quality movement, almost certainly by Antoine Redier, of classic continental design driven from a single 1⅝” capsule operating a cantilevered rack and pinion mechanism.
The compass on a separate trumpet form stand, hand drawn floating card with cardinals and intercardinals, marked “Singers Patent” and carrying the Francis Barker Trademark FBS logogram. The thermometer set to the anchor stock, the register calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit with a range from 20° – 120°.
Condition: The subject of a complete re-build encompassing cleaning and conservation, minor restoration, mechanical overhaul of clock and barometer along with calibration.
Generally with signs of ageing, wear and discolouration/oxidation, retaining a very good proportion of original finish, particularly the bright plated life rings and anchor. The clock and barometer bezels both re-lacquered. The compass working correctly. Structurally sound and essentially damage free, all instruments working correctly.
Comments: There are many different manifestations of this popular theme – this particular one is quite scarce and, in many respects, the equal of many of the well-known Guilmet novelty items. Certainly very aesthetically attractive and generally of good quality, setting this aside as one of the better examples. Unusually retaining a very high degree of originality, most being ruined by neglect or over-zealous restoration.
The Francis Barker compass has the S in the FBS logo reversed, dating it to after the death of Francis Barker in 1875, and the inclusion of the words “Singer Patent” but with no number indicate that this compass was produced not long after Singer’s original patent lapsed in 1868. This gives a probable date of manufacture of this compass of a year or two after 1875. As is the norm with Barker (and other) compasses, the verso of the floating card is balanced with wax.
A wonderful gift or collector’s piece alike.
Dimensions: 13" wide x 11½" high x 6" deep
Stock No: CP2253