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.
George III mahogany longcased clock, named George Lupton, Altrincham in the brass break arch dial with rolling moon, Roman and Arabic numerals, ...
Sold for 2,200 GBP
French brass carriage clock, late 19th century, retailed by Angus & Sons, Liverpool, the silvered Roman dial in a gilt front, striking movement with ...
Sold for 400 GBP
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