Short & Mason marine barometer of heavy brass construction. 4½” finely engraved and silvered dial marked “Stormy,” “Rain,” “Change,” “Fair,” “Very Dry” and “Compensated,” barometric scale from 24–31 inches of mercury, geared rotating altitude ring from 0-7,000ft, set beneath bevelled glass, substantial brass bezel with side-mounted altitude scale adjustment wheel. First quality movement with bimetallic strip, finely ground principal lever, violin-style cock, blued-steel hairspring, stop to capsule top pillar. The massive case with twin mounting lugs, the case rear with compensation adjustment port set at 4 o’clock. The whole mounted within its original, good quality, brass-bound oak case and maintained by twin turned brass fixing pins with finely dished heads, knurled circumferentially. Brass and steel adjustment tool in similar style. Lock and contemporary key. Inset brass plate to lid marked “T.O.R.” and later retailer’s label to inside lid, c1909.
This instrument raises many more questions than it gives answers. The fact the dial is unsigned might suggest manufacture, other than that of the Short & Mason movement, by a third party. It is more likely, though, that the entire instrument was manufactured by Short & Mason as it was commonplace for other makers or retailers to apply their names to dials. The instrument is presented in a style very consistent with maritime fashion: the oak case has raised sections with corresponding channels to the closure often associated with marine chronometers, and the presence of an altitude scale does not entirely preclude this. Similar instruments without altitude scales are known and were certainly carried on ships and luxury yachts – these are exceptionally rare. The absence of a hanging loop or ring suggests strongly that the instrument was designed to remain in its case at all times and, owing to its weight, a ballooning application can be broadly discounted.
The aneroid barometer stripped, serviced and cleaned, the dial with original silvering, the brass case with minor marks and oxidation. The oak box with minor marks, the bottom re-covered. This Short & Mason marine barometer is mechanically excellent, with good sensitivity and transition.
A very fine quality instrument.
Dimensions: 6½” wide x 6½” deep x 3¼” high
Stock No: BA0775