A very high quality, large British Army presentation barometer by Pertuis Hulot Naudet et Cie c1880.
Large presentation barometer with engraved and silvered 8” brass dial, the upper portion marked "Stormy," "Much Rain," "Change," "Fair," "Set Fair" and "Very Fine" and having semicircular barometric scale annotated 28-31 inches of mercury, also annotated "Holosteric Barometer" (constructed without the use of liquids, i.e. mercury - "Holosteric Barometer" is the phrase coined by this manufacturer for their aneroid barometers ). The lower portion with twin curved thermometers: to the left a red spirit thermometer, annotated "Reaumur Thermometer" above and "Centigrade" below, having twin corresponding scales, the upper scale -10 to 40 degrees (Reaumur), the lower scale 10 – 50 degrees (Centigrade); to the right, marked "Fahrenheit’s Thermometer," a mercurial thermometer with single scale marked above and below the tube 20 - 120 degrees (Fahrenheit). The dial open to the centre, affording visual inspection of the single capsule movement having 3” capsule, highly-polished C spring and associated components contained within a lacquered brass well. Blued-steel pointer, gilt brass telltale 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, and "PHBN" trademark to centre.
The whole contained within its original brass-bound lacquered oak presentation case lined in blue velvet, presentation plaque to lid engraved “S.N.Y.C., Watnall Troop, Prize for Best Swordsmanship, Presented by Captn. Rolleston, won by Sergt. James Clark, 1881." The last image is of Lancelot Rolleston.
Pertuis, Hulot, Naudet et Cie, the manufacturer, is regarded as being one of the world's very finest makers of such barometers - the detail and quality here testify very well to that reputation. Surviving in very good original condition - clearly little displayed, the red spirit in the Reaumur thermometer retaining its deep red colour (most are bleached transparent by sunlight), brass case retaining a good proportion of original finish and colour with patination, the rear re-lacquered, the movement in fine condition showing excellent transition and sensitivity. The oak case with some losses to velvet lining, the brass fittings with much original colour, some patination, working lock and key.
A very unusual item combining that illusive mix of quality, condition and rarity, in its day this was a very expensive 'state of the art' instrument. Awarded as a prize for swordsmanship, one can only guess at the prowess of the recipient! This presentation barometer is very much a collector’s piece.