Early French aviation altimeter, 2½” silvered brass dial with twin concentric scales: the rotating outer with a range from 0–1800 metres with stations at 200 metre intervals with a resolution of 20 metres; the inner scale graduated from 62-76 cm of mercury. The upper centre dial marked with Naudet et Cie “PHNB” logo, “Barometer Holostérique,” “Special Pour Aviation,” “Compensé.” The lower portion with the legend “Division Goulier,” and retailer’s mark “L.P. Gerrard, Biarritz.” Broad blued-steel pointer set beneath bevelled glass. The bezel, case and dial serially numbered “13.” The very high quality single capsule movement constructed in brass with a full range of adjustment, Naudet pattern compensation. The conventional, pocket pattern case with top-mounted stem and suspension ring. The rear with compensation screw set at 4 o’clock and “PHNB” logo to centre. The whole contained within its original, silk and velvet-lined, fine-grained leather case with push button closure.
Designed specifically for aviation, and dating to the last quarter of the 19th century, this is a very rare instrument by this premier maker. The silvered dial remains in excellent condition, some minor oxidation to altitude ring, the brass case retaining virtually all its original finish. The fine quality movement with good sensitivity and progression. The leather case with some wear to the finish and corresponding colour, the interior velvet and silk lining in good condition. Overall, a desirable collector’s piece in very good crisp and completely original condition.
We recognise that this is a significant barometric instrument and are continuing our research. We will be updating this entry in due course.
After graduating from the Ecole Polytechnique in Engineering, Colonel Charles-Moÿse Goulier (1818-1891) taught topography at the School of Artillery and Engineering (1844-1875) first at Metz, then at Fontainebleau. Then, from 1875 to 1891, he directed the central repository of precision instruments, initially attached to fortifications and from 1885 to the Geographical Service of the French Army. Goulier’s many innovations appear in an array of fields, including range-finding, surveying and mining, cartography and aviation.
Dimensions: 3¼” diameter x 1¼” high (case)
Stock No: BA0326
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