Instruments to mark the passage of time represent an essential collaboration between science and craftsmanship to produce a device that is both accurate and convenient. It was with increasing reliability and accuracy that mechanical clocks moved from the territory of ecclesiastical and civic building to become items of household furniture and ornament for the wealthy in the 17th century.
Barometers, like clocks also demonstrate the fusion of science and craftsmanship but in a different way. Clocks were developed specifically to measure time whereas barometers evolved from experiments into vacuums, and the resulting realisation that the empty space in a tube of mercury is affected altitude and weather. Torricelli’s mercury barometer of 1643 set the instrument on a similar path to clocks whereby they progressed from the laboratory to the ship to the gentleman’s house, clothed in fine woods and ornament.
Clocks and barometers at auction are bought both as examples of scientific advance or for their decorative value. Prospective vendors are welcome to submit their clocks and barometers for an up-to-date assessment and for inclusion in one of our regular auctions
Below are a few highlights, or click here to browse our Sold Lots Archive.
Miniature French brass carriage clock, gilt card face with enamelled |Roman dial named by the retailer Thos Reynoldson & Son, simple movement in a ...
Sold for 150 GBP
German oak bracket clock, early 20th century, unnamed, the bell topped case with gilt brass mounts enclosing a brass arched dial with silvered rings ...
Sold for 480 GBP
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