This carved giltwood barometer is in the form of a military trophy of arms surmounted by a ducal coronet. It comprises a sword hilt, cannon barrels and standards surrounding a portrait medallion of Arthur, 1st Duke of Wellington, in profile, and flanked by roundels naming his famous battles including Vimeiro, Vittoria, Assaye and Waterloo. The dial is inscribed ‘Wehrle and Steuert’ and ‘82 Whitechapel’ and the reverse has a pencil inscription ‘Jan Somalvico 4’. English and German, circa 1852.
Provenance: Major Hon Denis Gomer Berry and Lady Pamela Wellesley Berry
Richard Gomer Berry, 3rd Viscount Kemsley
Commemorative pieces of this sort are rare survivals and there is a companion model celebrating Nelson’s victories. The case was carved in Wehrle’s workshops in Baden, Black Forest, Germany and the movement was made by the Somalvico family, barometer and scientific instrument makers from Holborn, London. Wehrle and Steuert made clocks, barometers and self-playing organs. The London branch of the firm, based at 82 Whitechapel, retailed pieces made in the German workshops. They exhibited at the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the Automatic Instruments category as “Wehrle and Steuert, London (for a self-acting organ, manufactured by F. Wehrle, Black Forest, Baden)”.