Wind indicator having 12″ diameter oak dial with ormolu cardinals and intercardinals, the letters with frosted front faces, the facets polished bright. Bold Ormolu pointer. The lower dial signed in black “Negretti & Zambra, London” in typical early 20th century style.
Heavy bevelled glass set within a gilt brass bezel. The whole maintained in an oak case decorated with a well-executed carved rope border surmounted with a reef knot.
The verso with bronze dive shaft terminating in a square, and later hanging eye.
This is an extremely unusual piece, almost certainly previously sited in a yacht club or other premises connected with maritime pursuit. Constructed to a very high standard evidenced in the selection of the oak, execution of the cardinal and intercardinal points, and, of course, the aesthetically very attractive design. There are a few examples of these wind indicators to be found, for external mounting – the Royal Academy, the Royal Arsenal and the Town Hall in Evesham all feature exterior wind dials. This, however, was clearly intended for an interior.
Originally the indicator would have been driven from a weather vane sited in an elevated position, the drive communicated to the indicator by a Bowden cable, though some variants of this equipment are documented as electrically operated with solenoids. A simple gearbox with bevelled gears would have been mounted on the verso translating the drive through ninety degrees to the pointer. There is no reason why such a system could not be re-created with basic clock making skills or indeed updated with step motors.
Original in all respects, the overall condition is good, the bezel and cardinal points retaining much original gilding, the reflector ring substantially oxidised, the oak frame remains sound with some signs of shrinkage, the colour is good. The glass clean and damage free.
A rare, substantial and very desirable piece.
Dimensions: 22″ high x 15″ wide x 3″ deep
Stock No: SI1309