A very rare early silver cased pocket barometer by John Browning, case by Richard Oliver, London, hallmarked for 1863

Silver Pocket Barometer by John Browning, Case by Richard Oliver, c1863


Engine divided 1¾” open silvered dial with barometric range from 27 to 31 inches of mercury, the lower part signed by the maker “John Browning, London,” outer rotating altitude scale with a range from 0 – 4,000 feet, fine blued steel pointer set below a convex glass. Conventional 1” diameter single capsule driven gilt brass movement tensioned on a C-spring.

The whole contained within a finely executed barrel form engine-turned case of three major parts, the verso with stylised blank central cartouche, calibration port and adjustment screw, the inner case with silver hallmark “h” for 1861, maker’s mark “RO” for Richard Oliver, lion passant, assayed in London. Extension post and bow also with hallmarks.

This instrument by John Browning is not only very early as a pocket sized instrument – they first appeared in 1860 – but it represents work of the very highest standard. Browning well known as a premier instrument maker, Richard Oliver established as one of the finest makers of gold and silver watch cases here has produced one of  the best silver barometer cases we have noted, it is very fine indeed. This cooperation between two of Britain’s finest craftsmen has yielded up an instrument with wonderful aesthetics, first class quality and exacting function. It is noteworthy that this must be amongst the very first such instruments fitted with the then newly invented “C” type tensioning spring, a development from the earlier coil type spring.

Offered here in very original condition, there are some marks to the case, notably the verso, the glass has sustained some very minor chips to the extreme edge, the bow sits slightly off true, generally crisp overall. Serviced and checked over the indicated range, excellent sensitivity and stepless progression Without doubt a highly desirable collector’s lot.

Dimensions: 2″ diameter x ¾” deep

Stock No: PB0600

Price: £595

Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863
Image of John Browning Pocket Barometer c1863





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