A very good example of a rare cased silver compendium comprising pocket barometer, Singer pattern compass and thermometer retailed by Houghton & Gunn, Bond St, London c1895

Silver Pocket Barometer Travel Compendium by Houghton & Gunn c1895


Image of the inside of Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895 showing pocket barometer, thermometer and compassPocket barometer having 1½” silvered and engraved dial, the outer altitude scale calibrated in feet with a range from 0 – 7000 orientated from the rotating bezel, barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury, and having a range from 24 – 31, the upper dial marked “Compensated” and annotated with standard meteorological terms “Rain, Change, Fair,” the lower dial with retailer’s particulars, “Houghton & Gunn, 162 New Bond Street W.” Blued steel pointer. All set beneath a bevelled crystal. The 1″ capsule driven movement of conventional form with C spring tension, all contained within a fine barrel form English silver case with engine turned borders, the verso with compensation port, and well-struck hallmarks for the silversmith “J.S & S“, silver and 1894. Hallmarked case extension and hallmarked pinned bow suspension.

The matching Singer pattern mother-of-pearl compass card with cardinals and intercardinal, Singer’s lyre and star logo at northern point. Jewelled suspension. The English silver barrel form case with engine turned borders, having case extension and pinned bow with integral compass lock. The verso with well-struck hallmarks for Francis Barker, the pre-eminent compass maker of the time, silver and 1895. The mercurial thermometer set in a heavy ivory frame, the register calibrated in degrees Fahrenheit and Celsius with ranges 10 to 120 and -10 to 50 respectively. Green silk suspension thread. All contained within its fold-open burgundy leather over timber, green silk and velvet lined display case, clasp closure and easel stand.

Image of Houghton & Gunn logogram in Silver Travel Compendium c1895Houghton & Gunn, founded in 1822, were high class leather and stationery goods manufacturers, based at 162 Bond Street from 1841 onwards, before being bought by next-door neighbour Asprey in 1906.

These pocket barometer compendia are really very difficult to track down, particularly so for the smaller sized instruments such as these. All components are in very good condition, the silver cases very crisp, the pocket barometer the subject of a complete re-build, and calibration under laboratory conditions. The instrument shows remarkably good performance, having been set up and tested to full sale deflection, see performance chart below. Some shadowing to lower dial, only visible in critical light. The compass  also having been disassembled, cleaned and serviced, swings freely and easily finds North. The lock works correctly. The thermometer has an unbroken thread recording temperature with very acceptable accuracy.

Overall condition is very good, though the leather travel case shows its age. The subject of some restoration by us, the easel stand replaced utilising timber and leather as the original, a crack in the rear top stabilised from within.

Very collectable condition.

Dimensions: 5″ wide x 3½” deep x 1¼” high

Stock No: CP1306

Price: £1800

Image of Performance Chart for Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895

Image of the inside of Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895 showing pocket barometer, thermometer and compass
Image of pocket barometer, thermometer and compass from Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895
Image of the inside of Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895 showing pocket barometer, thermometer and compass and the retailer's marks
Image of back of pocket barometer from Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895 showing hallmarks
Image of front of pocket barometer from Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895

Image of front of compass from Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895
Image of back of compass from Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895 showing hallmarks
Image of movement from Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895
Image of front of closed case of Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895
Image of back of case of Houghton & Gunn Silver Travel Compendium c1895





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