Desk barometer with silvered 4” brass dial annotated “Stormy,” “Much Rain,” “Change,” “Fair,” “Set Fair,” “Very Fair.” Calibrated from 27½-to 31½ inches of mercury, further annotated “Aneroid Barometer” in early style script. The lower portion with “Fahrenheit’s Scale” and having original curved mercury thermometer calibrated from 0-130 degrees Fahrenheit. Blued-steel pointer, gilt brass tell tale. Flat glass, with fine knurled gilt brass telltale adjustment wheel to centre. Spun brass case and bezel, the bezel with ‘trademark’ Vidi/Dent herringbone pattern. Set pillar with suspension ring to top.
The reverse with hand-engraved legend “Sold by C.W. Dixey, Optician to the Queen, New Bond Strt, London.” Screw calibration port set at seven o’clock as viewed.
The whole contained within its original rosewood-banded, birds-eye maple-veneered sloping top desk case with circular glazed viewing port, the interior with deep red velvet lining set within a rosewood frame, retailer’s ivory plaque marked “C.W. Dixey, Optician to the Queen, 3 New Bond Strt,” brass escutcheon, brass hinges struck “DM&Co Patent,” set with steel screws, and original velvet covering to base. Lock and contemporaneous key.
A very early instrument with copper capsule, undoubtedly the work of Lucien Vidi and supplied to the English trade (see also Desk Barometer No. 3028 showcased on this site). This pattern is more often associated with E.J. Dent who also retailed and then went on to manufacture these instruments. Vidi had limited success in selling his new invention in France, selling by far the most of his instruments into the UK. The cooperation between Vidi and Dent was not exclusive, Dixey being one of the manufacturer retailers involved. The presentation and quality of this wonderful instrument is obvious, the inscription on the reverse and the ivory plaque testament to the pride and kudos in its supply enjoyed by Dixey.
Apart from the very rare, early, first pattern movement, the desk case is of particular note, a truly spectacular piece of craftsmanship of the highest quality and aestheticism. The instrument has in the past been the subject of some limited restoration, the dial re-silvered. Serviced, checked, calibrated and inspected, it remains original in all other respects. A beautiful and extremely rare collector’s piece.
Dimensions: 7″ wide x 7″ deep x 5″ high
Stock No: BA0334
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