A very scarce and extremely large Victorian wall barometer with thermometer in carved oak twist surround, probably by Short & Mason.
Extremely large Victorian aneroid barometer having 10” glazed transfer and hand-illuminated ceramic dial, the upper semi-circular portion with barometric range from 28 – 31 inches of mercury, standard meteorological annotations, 'Stormy,' 'Much Rain,' 'Rain,' 'Change,' 'Fair,' 'Set Fair,' 'Very Dry,' 'Wet or More Wind,' 'Dry or Less Wind.' The lower portion further marked 'Fall for SWly, SE, SW,' 'Except Wet from NE Direct' and 'Rise for NEly, NW, NE.' Having semi-circular thermometer calibrated in Fahrenheit and Centigrade, the register with ranges 10 – 130 and -10 – 55 degrees respectively. Applied decoration to centre. Fine blued steel pointer, matching gilt brass telltale, bevelled glass retained within a lacquered gilt brass bezel. Conventional single 3” capsule-driven movement. The whole fitted into a substantial turned and hand-carved oak case with rope theme to circumference. Calibation port to verso.
Ceramic dial with fine crazing commensurate with age, brass bezel with some pitting, patination and minor hairline cracks, the oak case with good colour, showing some signs of shrinkage.
A truly wonderful piece of Victoriana, this is a conversation piece with immediately compelling aesthetics and, of course, a very practical application. Although unsigned, the movement is almost certainly by Short & Mason.
Barometers with 8” dials are generally considered hard to find - these massive 10' dial instruments are virtually impossible to source. Shown here alongside the commonly seen 4¼' dial instrument, an impression of scale is easily appreciated.
It is not entirely clear why these instruments occur so rarely, though some reasons may include the initial purchase price which would have been relatively high. The ceramic dials are inherently fragile owing to their size and, consequently, more prone to damage. This particular example with its massive semi-circular thermometer is the ultimate of its type.
Fully dismantled, serviced and conserved, this aneroid barometer responds well to pressure changes. An item to impress.