Daniel Quare (1649-1724) rose from obscure and apparently humble Quaker origins to become one of the most illustrious and successful clockmakers of England's golden age of horology. Although he was never clock or watch maker to the Crown, Quare nonethless enjoyed Royal patronage. George I offered him the post of King's watchmaker for £300 per year but Quare's Quaker faith made him unable to swear the necessary Oath of Allegiance. Even so the King told Quare that he could visit any time and the Yeoman of the Guard at the Back Stairs let him 'frequently go up without calling anybody for leave as otherwise is usual, for Persons of Quality'. Perhaps the clearest evidence of Quare's success and his cosmopolitan clients is given by the lists of those attending his children's weddings. Among the guests at his daughter Ann's nuptials in 1705 were the Envoys of Venice, Hanover, Portugal, Sweden, Denmark, Prussia and Florence. In 1715, the Prince and Princess of Wales were due to attend Elisabeth Quare's wedding but could not do so because of an Act of Parliament forbidding the Royal family from attending houses of religious dissent. Nonetheless, the Princess attended the wedding dinner along with 300 other guests.
In 1695 Quare was granted a 14 year patent for the 'sole use and benefit of a Portable Weather Glass or Barometer, by him invented'. The application was opposed by the Clockmakers' Company; with some justification, as a similar design had been published in Holland in 1688 and, according to Robert Hooke, Thomas Tompion had made an example a year earlier. In 1696 when William Derham conducted barometric experiments at the Monument he used two of Quare's 'best portable barometers'.
Although the present barometer has numerous stylistic features in common with other examples by Quare, including its case design and the inscriptions on its scales, it is unusual in several ways. The typical Quare barometer is cased in walnut or ivory; the hood rests on a square brass collar section which is engraved with a signature; and there are two recording arms, operated via finials to the top of the hood. The present barometer does not have these features but bears close resemblance to another ebonised and ivory mounted barometer by Quare (No.59) sold Christie's London, Important Clocks, Barometers and Marine Chronometers, 12 December 2002, lot 78.