A very scarce silver half hunter cased aneroid pocket barometer by James Pitkin, London c1865
Pocket barometer having 1¾” silvered, engine divided and engraved dial, the outer part with standard meteorological terms, the barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 23” – 31” and divided down to 1/20th”, the upper part signed by the maker “J. Pitkin” with “London” to the lower portion. Fine blued steel pointer, bevelled glass.
The conventional movement driven from a single 1⅛” diameter nickel silver capsule tensioned on a coil spring, the underside struck with no “10.” All contained within a half hunter semi-barrel-form watch case, the stem with pinned bow, bearing hallmark “JJ” for James Jackson II, release for rear cover bearing full silver hallmarks on inside for “1865” and silversmith “T.W” (not currently known, though found on another watch case), calibration port to cuvette.
Presented in a later but correct oxblood leather over timber, green velvet and silk lined case with retailer label for “Wallace Heaton Ltd, Piccadilly,” snap closure on a button release.
Condition: The subject of a full service, conservation, and calibration under laboratory conditions. The movement working well, see performance chart.
The dial essentially bright with well-defined divisions and annotation, some minor marks and signs of ageing, the glass similarly with very minor marks, remaining chip free. The silver case with signs of wear and some minor impressions. The case back opening properly and remaining secure when closed. The leather travel case structurally sound, the outside leather covering with good colour, the button leather piece replaced, the fabric interior with some wear and slight losses but with good colour and vibrancy.
Comments: Silver pocket barometers are generally accepted as amongst the most attractive. This instrument is one of the very earliest pocket sized instruments to appear, and is noteworthy in having what would have been intended as a pocket watch case. The probable reason for this was the ease with which an aneroid barometer movement could be fitted to such a case at a time when dedicated pocket barometer cases, particularly silver ones, would have been very scarce.
Wallace Heaton Ltd was a well-known photographic retailer and optician trading from Berkeley Street in Piccadilly from 1925 onwards. The company’s label to the lid silk is almost certainly evidence that this instrument was re-sold relatively early in its life.
Dimensions: 2" diameter x ¾" deep
Stock No: PB1997
Price: Vavasseur Archive - not currently for sale