Dollond Desk Compendium c1885
Dollond Desk Compendium c1885
A fine gilt brass desk weather station comprising an aneroid barometer and thermometer by Dollond, London No 2451 c1885

Aneroid barometer desk compendium having two instruments mounted within a well-executed cast brass frame with detailed borders and ogee mouldings, set on a high gloss japanned hardwood base. The whole raised on bun feet.

The aneroid barometer having die struck silvered dial with a barometric range from 25 – 31 inches of mercury, the upper part marked “Rain, Change” and “Fair,” the lower signed by the maker “Dollond, London.” Blued steel pointer, rotating bezel with fine index driven remotely from plinth-mounted wheel. The 1¼” capsule driven movement of conventional pattern with extended calibration screw, marked “No 2451.”

The thermometer having teardrop reservoir set to a silvered register with ranges from 10 – 130 degrees Fahrenheit and 10 – 40 degrees Reamur, the scales marked “Blood Heat” and “Freezing,” the top signed by the maker “Dollond, London.”

Desk compendia are not particularly scarce, but this pattern by this maker might be considered rare. The condition in which it survives must be considered very unusual. As an object designed to be continually on show, most of these pieces either became badly damaged – broken thermometers being a common fault – or badly affected by tobacco and fire smoke. This particular piece retains a very good proportion of its original finish and vibrancy.

The barometer index is driven from a plinth-mounted wheel, the motion transmitted by silk thread achieving a figure of eight.

The subject of a complete re-build, the aneroid barometer cleaned and calibrated, the index system with replaced silk driving cord, the moving parts re-set and working well. The thermometer with no breaks to the mercury thread, the register retaining a good proportion of silver but with marks, oxidation and wear. The barometer dial with some marks and signs of oxidation. The cast frame with further signs of ageing, the lacquered finish discoloured especially evident to the rear. The plinth with minor marks, some light sratches.

Intensely decorative and manufactured by one of the world’s finest makers, this is a wonderful piece combining fine aesthetics and function.

Dimensions: 10” high x 5” wide x 3” deep

Stock No: CP0872