A rare miniature silver aneroid pocket barometer altimeter with a case by Richard James Oliver retailed by Rhodes & Son, Bradford, c1879

Miniature Silver Pocket Barometer with Case by Richard Oliver c1879


Silver pocket barometer having 1¼” silvered and engraved dial, rotating bezel with altitude ring calibrated in feet with a range from 0 – 5,000ft divided to units of 50ft, the barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 25–31 and divided to units of 1/20th”, the upper dial marked with standard meteorological terms “Rain, Change, Fair,” further marked “Compensated.” The lower part with retailer’s particulars “Rhodes & Son, Bradford.” Blued steel pointer, set beneath a bevelled crystal. Early pattern 1” capsule driven movement tensioned on a coil spring. All contained within a semi-barrel form engine turned case with vacant cartouche to verso, the inner back struck with full English silver hallmarks, case extension and suspension loop. Together with its undoubtedly original brown leather over timber green silk and velvet lined case. Snap closure on a button release.

Condition: The subject of a full mechanical overhaul, conservation, and calibration under laboratory conditions. The silver case crisp with good colour and shine, minor marks and imperfections. The dial bright and crisp, minor age marks, the rotating bezel moving freely. This pocket barometer has quite acceptable accuracy, having good sensitivity and progression. The leather case sound in structure, the lid silk replaced at Vavasseur, the outer leather surviving in markedly good condition and retaining the original leather covering to the release button.

Comments: These miniature silver pieces are rare, and were predominantly for the female market, being less bulky to carry. The silver case, is hallmarked “D” for 1879, and “RJO” for Richard James Oliver, part of the well-respected Oliver family of silversmiths based in Clerkenwell. The movement, though unsigned, is by Negretti & Zambra.

A much above average silver pocket barometer in very presentable and collectable condition.

Dimensions: 1⅞” diameter x ½” deep

Stock No: PB1178

Price: £850






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