A very good, French, open dial, brass Royal Navy presentation barometer, retailed by J Coombes, Devonport, “1st Admiralty - Prize - Science, HMS Britannia, 1895”

Royal Navy Presentation Barometer by Coombes c1895


Image of Presentation Barometer by CoombesPresentation barometer with engraved and silvered 8″ dial, the upper portion marked “Stormy,” “Rain,” “Change,” “Fair,” “Very Dry,” and “Aneroid Barometer,” and having semi-circular barometric scale annotated 28-31 inches of mercury. The lower portion struck “Made in France,”  twin curved thermometers, to the left (as viewed) a red spirit thermometer, annotated “Reaumur Thermometer” and “Centigrade,” having twin corresponding scales, the upper scale 0-30 degrees (Reaumur), the lower scale -10–40 degrees (Centigrade). The right-hand, a mercurial “Fahrenheit Thermometer”  and “Fahrenheit” with single scale marked above and below the tube 20–110 degrees. With retailer’s legend “J. Coombes, Devonport” at bottom.

The dial open to the centre affording visual inspection of the single 2¾” capsule movement, polished C-spring and associated components contained within a lacquered brass ‘well’. Blued-steel pointer, gilt brass index set to heavy bevelled glass. Turned pillar with large suspension ring. The case rear with compensation adjustment port and screw set at 4 o’clock. The whole presented upon its original carved and pierced oak stand, white metal, probably silver, presentation plate to plinth engraved  “1st Admiralty – Prize – Science, Mr……….., H.M.S. Britannia, Decr 1895.”

A very rare and significant item as part of the history of the Royal Navy. Though manufacture of the instrument is not attributed, it is of comparable quality to the holosteric barometer manufactured by the renowned makers Pertuis, Hulot, Naudet et Cie, the brass case retaining traces of original finish, minor marks and abrasions, patinated overall.

The well-carved oak stand, possibly produced in the dockyard, has good patina and colour. The presentation plate lacking a recipient’s name and without hallmarks, though this is quite normal – over time I have noted at least one “Naval Prize” lacking a recipient’s name.  There will be a record somewhere of the recipient though our limited research has as yet failed to make an identification. H.M.S. Britannia was the Royal Navy’s officer cadet training ship.

Overall, this presentation barometer is a lovely item, surviving in well-above average condition.

Dimensions: 15½” wide x 10½” high x 3″ deep

Stock No: BA0306

Price: £675

Image of Presentation Barometer by Coombes
Image of Presentation Barometer by Coombes
Image of Presentation Barometer by Coombes

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