A rare and early Vidi aneroid desk barometer No 8107 in burr or birds-eye maple veneered sloping front desk case c1850

Very Early Vidi Aneroid Desk Barometer No 8107 c1850


Antique aneroid barometer having 4½” silvered and engraved dial positioned on registration pins, the upper part with semi-circular barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 28–31” divided to 1/20th” and bordered by standard meteorological terms, to the centre the annotation “Aneroid Barometer,” the lower part with importer’s details, “E.J. Dent, Paris,” semi-circular thermometer below, the register marked “Fahrenheit’s Thermometer” with a range from 0–140 degrees, and serial no. “8107.” Blued steel pointer, gilt brass index. Flat glass with gilt reflector ring and herringbone pattern bezel. All contained within a spun brass case, the verso with calibration port set at 6 o’clock. Case extension and suspension ring.

The movement driven from a single early pattern high copper 3” capsule, cast bridge and integral primary lever tensioned on a coil spring, the chassis secured on set screws and ferrules. The underside of the chassis inscribed “7943.”

All contained within its original plum velvet lined ebony strung birds-eye maple veneered sloping desk case with rosewood bounded glazed circular viewing port, early hinges struck “PM&Co Patent” set with brass screws, original lock and key, brass escutcheon. Hand engraved plaque to top “C.W. Dixey, Optician to the Queen, New Bond Street, London.”

Condition: The subject of a full mechanical overhaul and re-calibration under laboratory conditions. The movement working well, see performance chart. Tested across the barometric range this instrument achieves outstanding results with maximum error of 0.02”. Highly sensitive with stepless progression.

The instrument remaining in original condition throughout, retaining almost all the lacquered and gilt finish to the case, some minor abrasions and points of oxidation, the verso with some scratches. The dial essentially crisp, some minor shadowing.

The timber case, the subject of conservation, some small losses, presenting very well, the highly figured veneer contrasting well with the ebony stringing. The original lock working well with correct key. The velvet lining retaining almost all of its original vibrancy.

Comments: I have often said that these early instruments are perhaps some of the most interesting of all the aneroid barometers. It is unclear precisely why, but performance and accuracy are always first class, and this is no exception. It should be noted that although the Dent instruments are signed “Paris,” they were made for Dent by Vidi in France and imported into the UK.

Now a very hard to find item in this condition, aesthetically beautiful and historically important, this antique desk barometer is most certainly a piece for the collector or connoisseur alike.

Dimensions: 6¾” wide x 5” high x 6⅛” deep

Stock No: BA1865

Price: £1500








Recent Portfolios