A fine dated mahogany 'double barometer' Knie, Edinburgh, dated 1801
Lot 68W
A fine early 19th century dated mahogany 'double barometer' Knie, Edinburgh, dated 1801
Sold for £4,750 (US$ 8,040) inc. premium
Auction Details
Lot Details
A fine early 19th century dated mahogany 'double barometer'
Knie, Edinburgh, dated 1801
The rectangular boxwood and ebony case with swan neck pediment and moulded base, the signed silvered 28 to 31 inch scale mounted within a moulded and banded border, the 'U' shaped tube with mercury in the left hand section, meeting with the oil filled section in a secondary reservoir. Signed 'Made by Mr Knie, Edinbr 1801' 104cm (41in) high.

Footnotes

  • Balthazar Knie is recorded as working in Cork, Ireland in 1773 and then in Edinburgh between 1776 and 1816.

    Born in Germany, Knie became the most well-known and productive barometer maker in Scotland. After some years travelling around Europe working as a casual barometer maker, he settled in Cork for a year. In 1776, he arrived in Edinburgh and advertised himself as follows: 'He blows and spins glass before company on the table, and forms many curiosities too tedious to mention. If any of the curious have in mind to see him work, they are heartily welcome, from six to eight in the evening. His stay in the city will be short.' Despite saying his stay in Edinburgh would be short, Knie remained in the city for forty years.

    In 1814, he planned to retire and proposed to dispose of his stock, comprised of seventy instruments and valued at £309, by way of a lottery. However, it seems that, due to lack of support, the lottery was eventually abandoned. Knie died in 1817.

    Literature: Edwin Banfield, Barometer Makers and Retailers 1660-1900, 1991
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