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    Sale 7627

    Dealing in Excellence: A Celebration of Hotspur and Jeremy

    20 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 86

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY, MARQUETRY INLAID AND BRASS-MOUNTED ANGLE BAROMETER WITH 'PERPETUAL REGULATION OF TIME' DIAL

    WATKINS AND SMITH, LONDON. CIRCA 1765

    Price Realised  

    A GEORGE III MAHOGANY, MARQUETRY INLAID AND BRASS-MOUNTED ANGLE BAROMETER WITH 'PERPETUAL REGULATION OF TIME' DIAL
    WATKINS AND SMITH, LONDON. CIRCA 1765
    The triangular pediment surmounted by three part-gadrooned brass later urn-finials, with moulded frame to the inverted breakfront sides and lower border, the angled tube secured with brass caps, the silvered register plate signed 'WATKINS AND SMITH LONDON', above hygrometer dial, the tube terminating in a part-fluted moulded cistern cover, a thermometer tube on the opposing side terminating in a conforming cover, with silvered scale, the centre with glazed print showing A Perpetual Regulation of Time, with calendars adjusted by winding squares to the sides; four bone keys
    42¼ in. (107.5 cm.) high; 26¾ in. (68 cm.) wide; 1¾ in. (4 cm.) deep


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    COMPARATIVE LITERATURE

    E. Banfield, Barometers, Stick or Cistern Tube, Trowbridge, 1985
    N. Goodison, English Barometers and Their Makers 1680-1860, Woodbridge, 1977

    Francis Watkins (c.1723-1784) was one of the leading instrument makers in England during the second half of the 18th Century. He occupied premises initially at 415 Charing Cross and then 5 Charing Cross. In 1763 he took into partnership his apprentice Addison Smith, until 1764. Much of Watkins' fame derives from his angle barometers with 'Perpetual regulation of Time'. Goodison (p.269) describes the features of the paper dial thus: 'Besides tables giving the dates of Easter from 1753 until 1852, the movable feasts and the dates of the Kings of England, these Perpetual Calendars incorporate a series of movable dials which can be set by keys operating through gear work and which show the time of high water at London Bridge, the times of sunrise and sunset, the length of the day, the days of the month, the zodiacal signs etc.' He suggests these may have been inspired by Britain's adoption of the Gregorian calendar in 1752. A Watkins and Smith barometer of very closely related design to the present example, now in the Science Museum, London, is illustrated in Goodison (p.278) and Banfield (p.150). A similar example was sold Sotheby's, New York, 23 October 1998, lot 338 and another at Christie's London, 7 July 1988, lot 47.

    Special Notice

    This lot will be sold under the Alpha scheme. If you are an EU Purchaser, there is effectively no change: VAT is charged at 17.5% on the buyer''s premium ONLY on a VAT inclusive basis. VAT is accounted for under the auctioneer''s margin scheme. If you are a non-EU Purchaser: VAT, at 17.5%, will be payable on both the hammer price and the buyer''s premium. VAT on the hammer will be refunded upon receipt of export documentation by the VAT department. Non-EU trading businesses can receive a further VAT refund on the buyer''s premium directly from HM Revenue and Customs.