H. A. Clum. Rochester, New York. Patented May 29, 1860. Ripple cased barometer.

This is an exceptional wall barometer. The case form is very unusual. It is constructed in walnut. It is decorated with a variety of ripple moldings which were popular in the 1860’s. Moldings like these were also used on a variety of clock case forms and picture frames during the 1860 period.

The upper section of the case forms a frame around the exhibition panel. At the top is a large cornice molding. Four turned and shaped columns support this and are mounted in a molding below the viewing area. The exhibition panel is paper. This is protected by glass and remains in excellent original condition. Printed in the upper left corner, one will find the Maker’s name and working location “H. A. Clum, / Rochester, N. Y.” The patent date, “PATENTED / May 29th, 1860” is located in the upper left. The barometer scale is a numeric scale that ranges from 26 – 30.5 inches. The level of mercury is measured against this. This level varies as the atmospheric pressure changes. A vernier is positioned on this scale. This is adjusted from a rod found at the top of the case. This is useful and convenient. By adjusting this to the position of your current viewing, you will know when you return next in which direction the level has changed. This change is a weather predictor. A thermometer is positioned on the left. The temperature scale is brass and has been engraved. The engravings are filled with wax and that scale has been treated with a silver wash providing contrast. Four acorn finials are positioned under the head of the instrument. The waist is long and narrow. Here the center tube is fully exposed and provides a stark contrast to the dark color of the two turned walnut columns that flank it. The base section features an inverted cornice molding which is of a slightly smaller scale compared to the one found at the top of the case. As a result, the overall proportions are excellent.

This is a large instrument which measures approximately 37.75 inches long and 8.5 inches wide and is 2.75 inches deep. It was made circa 1860.


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