Silver Pocket Barometer Compendium by Edward Stockwell, Retailed by Alfred Clark, London c1888 – SOLD
Gilt brass engraved 1¾” stepped dial, the outer altitude scale rotating with bezel and marked from 0 – 2,500 metres, below which runs the barometric scale calibrated in cmHg (Torr) with a range from 57 – 79 cmHg (approximately 23 – 31″ of mercury), the lower inner dial marked “P.Vent, Variable, B.Temps” at top, inner compass rose with cardinal and intercardinal points, semi-circular thermometer calibrated in degrees centigrade with a range -10 to 60 degrees C. Fine gilt brass barometric pointer mounted to a common arbour with jewelled suspension compass over. All set beneath a fine crystal.
Conventional 1st quality 1″ capsule driven movement tensioned on a “C” pattern spring, the movement unsigned but undoubtedly by Negretti & Zambra. The whole contained within a well-executed drum form case the lid with heavily fashioned hinge. Silver hallmarks to inner lid for the silversmith “EHS” (Edward H. Stockwell), silver and date letter “N” for 1888, retailer’s name to inner lip of bottom half of case. The verso with barometer adjustment port and inscription in German, which reads along the lines of: May your warmth of heart and freshness of spirit guide your life thermometer, the barometer show you a clear sky of true happiness, and the altimeter the level of greater satisfaction. March 22, 1889.”
This pattern of compendia may be considered scarce, and examples are much sought after. This item is specifically mentioned in Edward Stockwell’s entry in John Culme’s The Directory of Gold & Silversmiths, 1838-1914: “…a silver cased barometer/thermometer/compass, London 1889, retailed by Alfred Clark, 20 Old Bond Street.”
Practicing from the most prestigious of addresses, Old Bond Street in London, Alfred Clark crafted an exclusive range of objects. Much favoured by the Royal family, Clark supplied many gifts for foreign Royal visits including the tour to Australia in 1901 by the then Duke and Duchess of York, later George V and Mary.
Set in a very fine silver case, the barometer movement is still capable of very acceptable resolution, the compass quickly and easily finding North, the thermometer acceptably accurate.
Dismantled, serviced and tested under laboratory conditions (see performance chart below), the instrument carries the credibility that not only is it a historically interesting piece with fine aesthetic attributes, but it works properly and has been professionally conserved and prepared. The barometer has good stepless progression with little sign of hysteresis.
Condition is generally fine throughout, the dial crisp and clean, the case with minor signs of wear with good highlights and polish. The crystal clean and undamaged. The hinge solid and secure, and the case closes precisely.
Instruments such as this have become very popular, fast-appreciating assets. This example in absolutely original condition is a fine collector’s piece.
Dimensions: 2″ diameter x ⅞” height
Stock No: CP1382