Jason Clarke Antiques

George III Period Flame Mahogany Stick Barometer by Dollond London


For sale, fine late Georgian III period flame mahogany stick barometer by Dollond of London.

A super quality piece, this fine instrument is comprised of a flame mahogany body with a broken swan neck pediment surmounted and turned ivory vase finial to the centre. The tips of the swan’s neck are also emblazoned with small circular ivory cartouches and the outer edges ebonised to correspond with detailing on the body below.

The simple and superbly engraved silvered scale below provides just three weather readings to the left hand side (Fair, Change & Rain) and scale reading 27 to 31 inches of barometric pressure to the right. It further incorporates a simple hand operated Vernier for more precise reading against the tube. The glass tube is completed with a brass domed stay at its peak and the prestigious London Instrument Maker’s name of Dollond London is engraved either side. The scale and tube are both protected behind a glazed and mahogany framed door which can secured by lock and key to the right hand side.   

The trunk of the barometer has a graduated edge running its length with ebony banding to accentuate the beautifully chosen flame mahogany to the centre. A large fourteen inch Fahrenheit thermometer is placed in the centre of the body within a reeded mahogany frame. The silvered and engraved scale reads 10 – 140 Fahrenheit with various indicative readings to the right such as Fever Heat, Blood Heat, Summer Heat, Temperate and Freezing.

The barometer cistern is of circular form continuing a similar execution of ebony and graduated edge all round and to the centre a graduated cistern cover of turned mahogany. The latter is removable in order for the user to gain access to the cistern if required.

The Dollond Company was set up in Hatton Garden in 1750 by Peter Dollond with his father John joining him shortly after. John Dollond’s invention of the achromatic lens (although bitterly disputed) led to his award of the Copley Medal by The Royal Society in 1758 and following this success, Dollond moved to The Strand where the company was appointed optician to George III and the Duke of York in 1761.

Following the deaths of John in 1804, Peter Dollond took his nephew George Huggins into partnership and after a change in surname, the company became P&J Dollond until Peter’s death in 1820, the same year that they were jointly made opticians to George IV.

The company continued its association with royalty and went on to win a Great Exhibition Medal in 1851, a year before George’s death. His nephew (also George) succeeded in the ownership until his death in 1866 wherafter his son William continued to run the business. William was the final Dollond family member to run the company, finally selling out to a former employee of the company, JR Chant in 1871. Chant continued to use the company name until was acquired by James Aitchison in 1927 whereafter it became Dollond & Aitchison. In 2009 it became part of Boots the Opticians.

A superbly executed late George III period stick barometer with the attention to detail and build quality that one should expect from the Dollond family. The barometer has been fully serviced and is in full working order.

Circa 1800

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