A very unusual antique French aneroid barometer clock by Bourdon & Richard, Paris, No 539.
Barometer clock constructed principally in brass and having 4½” stepped printed enamel dial by Bastet, marked with standard meteorological terms 'Stormy,' 'Much Rain,' 'Rain,' 'Change,' 'Fair,' 'Set Fair' and 'Very Dry,' barometric scale calibrated in inches of mercury with a range from 28-31, divided to 20ths of an inch. The dial bottom bearing the legend 'Metallic Barometer' and twin medallions: to the left, 'World Medal Exhibition 1849, E.Bourdon and Richard’s Patent Paris,' to the right 'Universal Exhibition London 1851, Council Medal.' Blued steel pointer. Port with winding square set beneath a swing-open bezel with heavy bevelled glass and gilt brass telltale. Heavy drum form case with extension and suspension ring, the verso with bevelled glass removable push-fit cover.
The compensated Bourdon movement with 4” diameter semi-circular elliptical section pressure sensing body acting on levers and a rack, with push-and-turn setting system, the backplate struck with movement no. '18952.' The 8-day clock with good quality platform escapement and going barrel, backplate struck with serial no. '539,' inset roman chapter ring, lacquered brass reflector ring, blued steel spade hands.
This is a very unusual instrument: these barometer clocks are very rarely encountered and usually found with a diameter of 5¾'. The barometer setting mechanism is novel indeed, and a great simplification from the standard key and interrupter found on most examples. This system allows adjustment by depressing the pointer which drives the arbour backwards through the movement plates against a flat spring, causing the pinion to disengage from the rack - the pointer may now be rotated to the desired position and released, the flat spring, mounted across the face of the cock supporting the rear of the arbour, forcing the arbour forward re-engaging the pinion with the rack.
The barometer working well, the clock running but requiring a service. The case retaining traces of its original, probably bright finish, the pointer and tell tale possible replacements, the platform with missing stud.
With only approximately 500 of these so called 'baromètre-pendule' (pendulum barometers) produced, according to Félix Richard's widow, the number of these instruments surviving in complete and essentially untouched “as found” condition are very few indeed. This is probably one of the very last and therefore the most developed of this instrument.
A truly wonderful, very original and appreciating instrument. Very much for the collector.