Paulus Wast (1721-1784) was born as Paolo Quasti in Bern in 1721. In 1741, he settles in Amsterdam as an aprentice to Frans Primavesi in the Dijkstraat. Circa 1750 Paolo Quasti must have started his own business and around the same time he probably changed his name to Paulus Wast, judging from the signatures he used on his barometers.
It is possible to date the oeuvre of father and son Wast with an accuracy of a few years. Barometers signed Paulus Wast are executed between circa 1745 and 1765. Barometers signed Paulus Wast en Zoon were made circa 1765 or later. The present lot can be considered as an early Wast & Zoon barometer.
A virtually identical barometer is in the collection of the Frans Halsmuseum in Haarlem (J.L.H.J.M. van der Ven, 'Paulus Wast: een Meester-Barometermaker (1721-1784)'; Antiek, 16de jrg., no. 7, feb. 1982, pp. 426-435). And a closely related barometer by Paulus Wast was sold Christie's Amsterdam, Noble House Sale, 3-5 April 2007, lot 213.