A unique and very attractive parcel gilt and walnut cased metallic or aneroid Bourdon barometer by Jules Richard No 21266 c1890, carved by Whytock & Reid
Bourdon barometer predominantly of lacquered brass construction, 5' reverse printed glass dial with bevel calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 28–31 inches, annotated 'Stormy,' 'Much Rain,' 'Rain,' 'Change,' 'Fair,' 'Set Fair,' 'Very Fair,' marked 'Metallic Barometer' and bearing the motif 'SL.' Conical inner silvered case. The classic Bourdon & Richard type movement finely constructed in gilt brass, vertically set beam chassis struck with serial no. '21266,' 'Brevette' and with the 'JR' Jules Richard cartouche. Crescent shaped ovoid section vacuum chamber, bearing via twin levers upon a fan shaped rack engaged with a slipping pinion to the arbour. Stepped form case with top mounted pillar and suspension ring. The verso with centrally positioned calibration port.
These instruments have a unique means of calibration - a special key is required which, when fitted into a centrally positioned port in the rear of the instrument, engages on a square at the base of the arbour. In so doing a lever placed in the same plane and close to the arbour is caused to engage with the slipping drive pinion thus the arbour may be turned whilst the movement is braked.
Mounted and maintained by twin rear mounted fixing wedges in its original well-carved parcel gilt and walnut case decorated with cherries, ferns and scroll work, and the initials 'JDM' within a border.
An amazing juxtaposition of craftsmanship in wood and metal, high quality pieces such as this are seldom seen. Provenance affirms the carving to be the work of one of Scotland's finest cabinet makers, Whytock & Reid - indeed the quality of the carving is wonderful. The theme is undoubtedly that of the clan for whom it was made, so far unidentified. We liked this instrument so much we took it as the Vavasseur logo!
Some minor losses to carved case, minor chips to extreme edge of glass dial, the instrument in good working order and condition. Very crisp original condition overall.
Whytock & Reid was one of the oldest fine cabinet makers in the UK, decorating and furnishing many of Scotland's most famous houses and visitor attractions, to include Holyrood. The firm was also involved in the fitting out of the Royal Yacht Britannia.