Jason Clarke Antiques

Rare William IV Period 6" Dial Mahogany Wheel Barometer by Silvani & Co Brighton


For sale, a rare William IV period mahogany wheel barometer with six inch dial by Silvani & Co, Brighton.

This unusually small example (due to the small diameter of its dial) is created using the finest flame mahogany veneers with ebony banding to the outer edge of the body. It has the typical square base design for the period with swan neck pediment and central brass urn to the centre. The barometer contains a removable hygrometer to the top section with a removable twelve inch silvered thermometer with convex glass below.

The six inch silvered dial with engraved star motif to the centre, measures 28 to 31 inches of barometric pressure with weather indications on the inner circumference. It has a decorative blue steel hand and brass pointer operated by means of the turned bone knob below. The base contains its original spirit level with silvered surround engraved to the maker, “Silvani & Co, Brighton”.

The Silvani family were part of the flood of Italian scientific instrument making families that immigrated to Britain in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries and who created such a huge influence on the style and design of the English barometer during this period. Numerous Silvani’s are listed in the Brighton area during the early nineteenth century but Silvani & Co (trading from 1825 to 1845) gained some notoriety for producing large wheel barometers which also contained pendulum clocks above the dials. Given their penchant for instruments of an unusual form and proportions, it is unsurprising that they would also seek to provide these smaller examples to differentiate themselves from the accepted norms of the period.

Circa 1835


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