A GEORGE III MAHOGANY PERPETUAL ANGLE BAROMETER BY WATKINS AND SMITH, LONDON
A most unusual mid 18th century mahogany angle barometer by Watkins and Smith, London. The shaped top surmounted by three later finials. The mahogany frame mounted with an angle barometer, thermometer and barometric dial, and cistern covers of a later date. The centre having a semi-automated calendar, ‘A Perpetual Regulation of Time’ which incorporates a series of movable dials at the back, set by keys operating through the gear work, and which can show days of the month, length of day, sunrise, sunset, fixed feasts, tides, moon phases and signs of the zodiac. It also gives the dates of Easter from 1753 to 1852.
Francis Watkins (c.1723-1784) was apprenticed in 1737 to Nathaniel Adams and became a Freeman of the Spectaclemakers’ Company in 1746. Watkins worked in Charing Cross together with his apprentice Addison Smith. Watkins is associated chiefly with this type of angle barometer set within a frame.
English, circa 1760
Height: 42 in; 107 cm
Width: 26 ¼ in; 67 cm
Depth: 3 ½ in; 9 cm
Note: An almost identical barometer is in the Science Museum, London.
Edwin Bamfield, ‘Barometers, Stick or Cistern Tube’, 1985, p.150, fig.194.
Back illustrated in Nicholas Goodison, ‘English Barometers, 1680-1860’, 1985, p.278, plate.190.