A rare later C19th French-made novelty clock and barometer desk compendium raised on a rouge marble base and modelled as a steam engine speed governor

Rare French Industrial Novelty Clock and Barometer Desk Compendium c1880


Aneroid barometer having transfer printed enamel dial, the periphery marked with standard meteorological terms, the barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 25” – 31” divided to 1/20ths”. The lower part marked “Aneroid Barometer,” blued steel pointer, gilt brass index. Conventional early pattern French movement based on the original design by Lucien Vidi as developed with later patent to encompass the 1½” diameter capsule tensioned on a C spring. All contained within a spun brass case and mounted within the righthand weight.

Clock with matching enamel dial, roman chapter ring, Breguet pattern blued steel hands, carriage clock movement with platform escapement, all contained within the lefthand weight.

The model detailed with major articulating components, bevelled drive gear and regulating coil spring. The whole raised over a French rouge marble plinth finished at the base with a convex gilt brass border. Double-ended key.

Condition: The clock professionally serviced and regulated, and running well. The aneroid barometer the subject of a full service, conservation and calibration under laboratory conditions, responding well to pressure change with acceptable levels of accuracy across the standard range 28 – 31 inches Hg, see performance chart.

The clock dial with hairline crack to the outer border and at 3 o’clock position. The marble base chip free with good colour and character. Overall a good example.

Comments: This is a substantial and aesthetically pleasing piece of undeniable quality, with good visual cues and excellent balance. The model is that of a component part of most steam engines, the centrifugal governor. This device spins about a vertical axis driven from the steam engine by the bevelled gear at the base. As the shaft speed of the engine increases so the “weights” or fly-balls are caused to ride further from the vertical axis – as they ride further and further out with increasing shaft speed so a connected valve regulating the steam supply to the cylinders is progressively closed. Thus the shaft speed of the engine is governed or regulated.

A wonderful novelty item, an ideal gift for the steam enthusiast or collector alike, this piece comes from teh same French manufacturer as the Prince of Wales Desk Compendium also featured on our website.

Dimensions: 12″ high x 9″ wide x 4½” deep

Stock No: CP0664

Price: £1450






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