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 marked with the Short & Mason “S&M” logogram, 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. Lid with inset vacant escutcheon.
This 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. Indeed, it is listed in Short & Mason’s catalogue as a “chronometer companion.” A most useful instrument of ready and accurate reference for the navigator and 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 with some signs of ageing to centre, the brass case and fittings retaining most of their original lacquer with minor marks and points of oxidation. The oak box with signs of age, use, minor marks, the bottom re-covered. The brass mounts retaining some original lacquer and areas of oxidation.
This Short & Mason marine barometer is mechanically excellent, with good sensitivity and transition. It has been on test alongside a 1950s ‘precision’ barometer and has been shown to be accurate over the range tested to within 100th of an inch – astounding, given that it is over 150 years old!
A very fine quality instrument.
Dimensions: 6½” wide x 6½” deep x 3½” high
Stock No: BA0795