For sale, an early Victorian burr walnut cased desk barometer by Callagham of 23a New bond Street, London.
Of superior quality, this barometer is housed in a burr walnut veneered hinged case with sloping front and blue baized base. The circular glazed window in the lid is further accentuated with a graduated ebonised surround providing contrast and a perfectly subtle indication of quality and attention to detail. The interior of the case is upholstered with a red silk velvet to both the lid and the base.
The fitted interor secures a super quality brass cased aneroid barometer with a large full circle silvered scale measuring 24 to 31 inches of barometric pressure and Vidi type weather indications to the inner circumference. The centre of the dial is beautifully engraved to “Callaghan 23a New Bond Street, London”. The barometer is complete with blue steel “Breguet” type pointer and an unsual brass spear point set hand with a neat and uncommonly shaped setting dial.
The engine turning detail to the circumference of the bezel is reminiscent of the earliest Vidi barometers retailed by EJ Dent which gives a good indication of its early date.
William Callaghan’s career began as an employee of the famous firm of Thomas Harris & Son. It is likely that he was apprenticed there but he was certainly working for them in their Great Russell Street premises by 1841 after having attended the London Mechanic Insitute. Sadly, little is known of Callaghan’s meteoric rise to fame but by 1851 he had exhibited at the Great Exhibition in his own right and had also managed to occupy premises at 23a New Bond Street.
The company continued until the mid 1870’s whereafter it was renamed Callaghan & Co suggesting a change of ownership or a passing to later members of the family but the company seems to have flourished until the onset of The Great War. The company’s quality remained steady throughout and although their history is less well documented, instruments bearing the Callaghan name are always impressive.
In this case, the barometer bears so many stylistic similarities to the original Vidi barometer it can only have been manufactured during the early period of aneroid barometer production. Whether it was created by agreement with Vidi is unknown but interestingly, the shape of the case bears closer resemblance to the early bourdon type aneroids of the period. It is therefore likely that Callaghan was following prevailing retail trends to create this hybrid model.
A superior quality and historically interesting early aneroid barometer from a top London maker