A very good French desk barometer and paperweight in the form of a silver mounted mahogany capstan by Gustave Keller, Paris, c1900

French Nautical Theme Desk Barometer & Paperweight by Keller c1900


Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900Desk barometer with 1⅝” silvered and die-struck dial annotated in French meteorological terms, “Tempête,” “Pluie ou Vt.,” “Variable,” “Beau Ts.”, and “Très Sec,” and “baromètre anéroïde,” the barometric scale calibrated in centimetres of mercury with a range from 69 – 80, fine blued-steel pointer formed as an arrow, rotating bezel with index supporting a convex bevelled crystal. High quality and very unusual hybrid lacquered and gilt brass movement driven by a single 1¼” diameter capsule acting on a cantilever, maintained in a drum form lacquered brass case housed within a turned mahogany capstan form body decorated with upper and lower silver bands, both bearing the name “Keller” and maker’s mark, the lower with classic cross-tie Keller motifs. The base with inset spun brass plug bearing maker’s legend “G. Keller, Paris” at centre.

Minor losses and marks to dial, some areas of patination to lacquered brass case, some wear and minor marks to silver mounts. The crystal with minor abrasions, not easily seen.

A very unusual item from one of the world’s leading makers of fashion and high class accessories working from Paris. With wonderful nautical theme design, this is much more than a desk barometer: the movement is a design hitherto not encountered, and the quality is obvious.

Serviced with some conservation, this lovely piece remains in original condition and good working order.

The Keller firm was founded in 1856 by Gustave Keller, whose simple yet elegant sets and accessories were immediately appreciated for their quality. He was awarded a gold and a silver medal at the 1867 and 1878 Paris World Exhibitions. After 1878, the Keller Frères succeeded him and started producing silverware, which was rewarded at the 1889 and 1900 world fairs respectively, with a gold medal and a Grand Prix. In 1889, Lucien Falize wrote that “everything stamped Keller is good” (the firm was later known as “Keller fils et gendre successeurs”).

Established in Paris at 65 rue de Turbigo, Keller moved their shop and workshop to 22 rue Joubert in 1891. In 1929, the shop was mentioned as trading from 18 Avenue Matignon and was still active possibly as late as 1947.

Keller attracted brilliant and international customers and was appointed official supplier of several courts (Spain, Russia, Greece and Romania). The Russian Court was an important client and from 1897, the last Tsar regularly purchased artefacts from the Parisian silversmith.

From the 1900s the firm was also commissioned to produce several important cups and trophies for the Principality of Monaco.

Dimensions: 2¾” diameter x 1½” high

Stock No: BA0620

Price: £450

Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900
Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900

Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900
Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900
Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900
Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900
Image of Gustave Keller Desk Barometer c1900

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