Bourdon & Richard barometer with 5” inch, printed open card dial displaying a scale range of 28-31 inches of mercury, annotated “Stormy,” “Much Rain,” “Rain,” “Change,” “Fair,” “Set Fair” and “Very Dry,” the lower dial with the legend “Metallic Barometer,” and medallions for “Gold Medal Exhibition 1849 – E. Bourdon and Richards Patent, Paris” and “Universal Exhibition, London 1851 – Council Medal.” Blued-steel pointer and skeleton gilt brass telltale. Deep bevelled glass. The case rear with shuttered adjustment port to centre. Supported on a fine quality bronze-patinated spelter stand, comprising a pair of cherubs set on an ornately decorated plinth.
Very fashionable in the mid and later 19th century, most examples are clumsily executed, lacking balance and aesthetic appeal. This piece is immediately very pleasing to the eye. The stand combines excellent proportion and balance enhanced by a fine casting and well chosen subject matter. The combination of colour, texture and form are most complimentary to the very fine instrument it supports. The barometer itself boasts wonderful aesthetics with its plain form drum case and open dial revealing the elegant movement in brass, bronze and steel.
Bourdon & Richard barometers differ markedly from the common form of aneroid barometers: both essentially operate on the same principle though the execution of the mechanism is quite different. The Bourdon utilises a horseshoe-shaped capsule arranged around the outside of the mechanism – it is roughly a flat oval in section, acting on twin connecting rods driving a very finely constructed fan-shaped rack which, in turn, is engaged to a pinion set at the base of the arbour. These instruments are known for their great accuracy, sensitivity and gentle transition: in short they were the finest aneroid barometers of the 19th century.
The stand is undamaged, retaining its original colour and definition. The instrument retains traces of original lacquer to case and bezel; the dial is in excellent condition – at some time ’29’ has been added in pencil to the dial top; the glass with some minor casting flaws, the movement retaining much original lacquer and colour which has aged. The upper back plate stamped with the cartouche “EB,” marking the production of Felix Richard for Eugene Bourdon, and the lower backplate the serial no. “8436,” as well as “Richard a Paris.” The rack with the earlier ‘pointed end’ design. The cartouche, the rack and the serial number indicate a date c1860.
The rear of the case had an applied card, now removed, affixed with animal glue and clearly contemporaneous to its manufacture, effectively obscuring the compensation port. It might be said, therefore, that instrument had not been re-calibrated for at least 150 years – it is noteworthy that it reads just .002” low at 29”.
Serviced and conserved, in very good working order and condition. Taking all of the above into consideration this is a very desirable collector’s piece.
Dimensions: 13” high x 10″ wide at the base
Stock No: BA0379
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