Dent barometer having silvered and engraved brass dial, the upper portion annotated “Stormy,” “Much Rain,” “Rain,” “Change,” “Fair,” “Set Fair,” and “Very Dry,” and maker’s name “M.F. Dent,” calibrated from 28″-31″ of mercury, the lower portion bearing the maker’s address “33 & 34 Cockspur St, London”and having curved mercurial thermometer calibrated from 10 to 130 degrees Fahrenheit. Blued-steel pointer, gilt brass telltale.
Flat glass, with fine knurled gilt brass telltale adjustment wheel to centre. Lacquered spun brass case and bezel. Set pillar with suspension ring to top. First quality 2½” capsule driven “C” spring movement raised on a substantial steel chassis, lacquered brass cock, bronze hair spring. The reverse with screw calibration port set at 3 o’clock as viewed.
The whole contained within its original rare mahogany flat top case with circular glazed viewing port having bronze ring to circumference, internal brass sliding locking catch designed to securely hold the instrument, rear mounted pull-out picture stand and extending brass hanging plate, high gloss lacquered interior with blue velvet-faced recess. Circular brass escutcheon, lock and later key. Brass hinges set with brass screws.
The instrument movement having been cleaned and serviced, the case retaining much original lacquer, some wear at contact points with case. The mahogany case with good polish and colour, some wear and minor abrasions consistent with age, later keeper to slider, small old repair to rear on hinged face, original coarse green cloth to rear.
The finely executed first quality movement is ‘a study on the barometer.’ Constructed on a heavy steel chassis, the substantial lacquered brass movement is designed with practicality and elegance, clearly aimed at transmitting as much information as possible from the pressure sensing capsule to the reading. Many instruments from this period present a rather cluttered appearance – this is well-thought out with an eye for simplicity of construction, as so often in engineering terms, translated into effective operation.
There are several aspects about this antique aneroid barometer that are of particular interest. It has been clearly understood by the maker that more precise readings and progression are to be gained from greater rigidity in the component parts and that is evident in the scale and proportion particularly of the lacquered brass components. Another interesting aspect in design relates to the gain adjustment: this loosely translated to mean the adjustment by which the signal from the capsule may be either magnified or reduced. In this instrument, the fine adjusting wheel that will be noted to the lower left of the image is easy to manipulate and clear of other parts of the movement.
As experience shows in observation of Dent instruments, excellence and innovation have always been foremost in the philosophy of this dynasty of world-renowned clock, watch, chronometer and barometer makers. It might be of interest to the reader to look at DESK BAROMETER BY DENT No 22769 c1860 which has an innovative movement.
This rare antique M.F. Dent barometer is a really attractive instrument having great presence afforded by its fine aesthetic qualities, perfect for desk or side table, or simply hung on a wall. It is extremely accurate with seamless transition.
Maria Frederica Dent was the stepdaughter-in-law of Edward John (E.J.) Dent. Her husband, Richard Dent, inherited the Cockspur Street premises upon his stepfather’s death in 1853, and Maria took over the business upon her husband’s death in 1856. M.F. Dent (M.F. Dent & Co from 1869 onwards) remained independent until it was acquired by the main family company in 1920.
Dimensions: 6½” wide x 6½” deep x 3″ high
Stock No: BA0428