A rare, fine engine turned silver cased aneroid pocket barometer altimeter compass and thermometer compendium No 1847 by CW Dixey, London c1887
Silver pocket barometer having 2” stepped, silvered and engraved dial, the outer part with altitude scale calibrated in feet with a range from 0 – 13,000ft and divided down to 20ft, inner barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 19” – 31” and divided down to 1/10th”, the inset upper part with standard meteorological terms, maker’s signature “C.W Dixey & Son, Opticians to the Queen,” the lower part with semi-circular thermometer, the register calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit from 20° – 130° with freezing point indicated, and marked with maker’s address “New Bond Street, London,” serial no. “1769,” and “Compensated.” Blued steel pointer, bevelled glass, bezel operated index. Calibration port and cartouche with “WE monogram” to verso. The conventional 1st quality movement driven from a single 1” nickel alloy capsule tensioned on a C spring.
The detachable full width 1¾” diameter 32 point compass with floating Singer’s pattern mother of pearl card, having cardinals, intercardinals, false points and by points, Singer’s star and lyre logos. Jewelled suspension, circumferentially mounted compass lock actuator.
The whole contained within an extensively and intricately decorated engine turned drum form case, carrying hallmarks for 1884 and silversmith “F.B”, hallmarked suspension post and ring.
Condition: The dial with very minor signs of ageing otherwise clean and crisp. The barometer working exceptionally well over an unusually extended range with a maximum error of 1/10th” across the range, very sensitive with good progression. The thermometer thread intact and working correctly, the compass with near perfect card, swinging freely and finding North consistently. The transit lock working correctly. The silver case clean and damage free.
Comments: We have handled four of these instruments, numbered 1093, 1769, 1839 and this one, 1847 – no others of this pattern have been noted or reported. It is likely therefore, given the proximity of the numbers, that these were all produced within a fairly narrow period between 1880-1890 and in very small numbers, the serial range almost certainly shared with other Dixey marked instruments. In any event, this is certainly one of the very most spectacular instruments of its type for both design and quality.
This particular compendium was obviously a special commission by or for its owner “WE,” indicated not only the unusually large barometric range, but also the exceptionally well-painted compass card, the best example we have seen.
As an example of a pocket barometer compendium, and as the market narrows becoming selective for aesthetic quality and rarity, this is an instrument that has good future potential.
Most definitely a collector’s item.
Dimensions: Compendium - 2" diameter x 1¼" deep; Travel Case - 2⅜" wide x 2¾" long x 1½" deep
Stock No: CP2018
Price: Vavasseur Archive - not currently for sale