Richard Frères Barograph Retailed by Hughes
Richard Frères Barograph Retailed by Hughes
Richard Frères Barograph Retailed by Hughes

A most attractive mahogany cased four glass marine barograph by Richard Frères, Paris, retailed by H. Hughes & Son Ltd, Fenchurch Street, London, No 512, c1885

Marine barograph constructed in grained and lacquered brass and steel, having seven capsule-driven movement, full length chassis with serial no. “5031,” arm guard, contemporary ink bottle, dipper and receptacle, substantial centrally-mounted thermometer with engraved and silvered scale calibrated from 30-110 degrees Fahrenheit also annotated “Freezing” and “Blood Heat.” Raised, intricately turned adjustment screw operating on a sub-chassis leaf spring connected to the base of the capsule column. Original arm with replacement antique-pattern bucket nib, arrestor bar. Conventional 8-day drum no. “5031,” and clockwork movement, captive key, screw down retainer, regulator, paper clip and cover.

Lacquered case with retailer’s ivory plate to front marked “H. Hughes & Son Ltd, Fenchurch St, No 512,” end-hinged cover and opposing heavy swinging catches. Base-mounted frieze draw. The top with folding ornate cast-brass transport handle located on a heavy brass decorative back plate, twin brass suspension plates with four brass loops located at the corners of the case. These marine barographs were supplied with such fittings enabling them to be suspended on springs from the deck head, thus reducing the effects of roll and pitch of the vessel.

Surviving in remarkably good original condition, this marine barograph has been the subject of an extensive re-build, pivots polished, levers reset, all surfaces conserved allowing the original finish and texture to be revealed. On test this instrument has performed every bit as well as a modern Met Office Casella barograph, testament to the makers Richard Frères’s excellent design and quality. The trace shown records this instrument’s near perfect function. Minor marks generally to chassis and mechanism, signs of ageing and light patination. The mahogany case, free from cracks or noteworthy damage, and with original glasses, has wonderful colour, retaining a very good proportion of the original lacquered finish.

This instrument remains in completely original condition save the nib. A very choice item, rare and with perfect proportions, and with a wonderful contrast in materials, it is of exemplary quality in construction and execution.  

A genuine 19th century marine instrument, this barograph is a truly wonderful item which would be very hard to replace.

Dimensions: 13½" wide x 8½" high x 6" deep

Stock No: BG0359

Price: Vavasseur Archive - not currently for sale