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The elegant case has a mahogany stem, arch top and there is fine carving on either side of the register plates. The hemispherical cistern cover is original.
The silvered scale is in the “triple weather glass” style for which Martin was famous. To the left of the scale is a small thermometer and in the arch a hygrometer. The hygrometer employs gut, which, as it relaxes and tightens, transmits to the indicating hand. The thermometer is surrounded by an engraved decorative border. The maker’s signature is engraved below the hygrometer B Martin London.
Height: 36 ½ inches (96cm)
*Benjamin Martin was born in 1734 in Worplesdon, Surrey. He published on a wide range of subjects including mathematics, science and philosophy. By 1743 he was, according to Nicholas Goodison in his English Barometers 1680-1860, “an established lecturer on several scientific subjects”. In 1755 he established his General Magazine of the Arts and Sciences which ran until 1763. Martin’s Philosophical Grammar ran to eight editions. Understandably then, Goodison describes Martin as being among the “leading instrument-makers of the latter half of the (18th) century”. Martin’s most significant contribution to instrument making was perhaps his essay of 1778; Description of the Nature, Construction, and use of the Torricellian, or Simple Baromter’ in which he took issue with the ideas of Robert Hooke. The collection at the Museum of the History of Science at Oxford contains a barometer by Martin.
Howard Walwyn Ltd Fine Antique Clocks
123 Kensington Church Street
Saturday by appointment