A rare early 18th century walnut stick barometer with Royal Society scale Unsigned

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Lot 9
A rare early 18th century walnut stick barometer with Royal Society scale
Unsigned

£ 10,000 - 15,000
US$ 13,000 - 20,000

Fine Clocks

13 Jun 2006, 14:00 BST

London, New Bond Street

A rare early 18th century walnut stick barometer with Royal Society scale
Unsigned
Inverted bell top over an arched concave cresting supported on twin brass mounted Doric columns, the long trunk with concave moulded edge enclosing the printed paper scale giving details such as 'Extream Hott', terminating in a turned cistern cover
the silvered two part scale with movable sickle pointer 98cm (38.5in) high.

Footnotes

  • The Royal Society scale was an arbitrary scale used on barometers dating from 1690 to 1730. Unusually, this scale runs the opposite way from most others in that 0 degrees denotes the hottest temperature, running down to 90 degrees to show 'Extream Cold'. The sealed alcohol thermometer held below a mercury barometer was typical of the time; it was not until Fahrenheit introduced his more accurate scale in 1725 that makers began to use mercury for both thermometers and barometers. In this example, both bulbs are held in the cistern at the base of the instrument, and the alcohol registers the temperature of the mercury rather than the temperature of the outside air.

    Unlike Fahrenheit's scale which was a more accurate, numerical system and therefore could be reproduced on any number of instruments, the Royal Society scale varied from instrument to instrument, with 0 degrees giving an approximate indication of blood heat.


Auction information

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