For sale a Bourdon design aneroid barometer with movement by Jules Richard and glass painted 5.5 dial. This rare example of a bourdon barometer has a five and a half inch glass painted dial showing 28 to 31 inches of barometric pressure and a retailers stamp showing the initials SL either side of a three stemmed candelabra design. It has a blue steel indicating hand and a brass pointer operated by a knurled knob to the front of the glass.The movement has Eugene Bourdons tell-tale crescent shaped flattened vacuum tube with tear dropped fan shaped rack operated by twin levers and is stamped to the movement base with Jules Richards initials, the word brevete meaning patented and the serial number, 25224. The barometer has a graduated brass case with adjustment hole to the centre of the back plate and it comes complete with the original adjustment key. Bourdons designs for both barometers and pressure gauges were met with approval at The Great Exhibition in 1851 winning him a council medal alongside his competitor Vidie.
Bourdons movement however were slightly more fragile than Vidies and although they continued to be produced until the turn of the century, they were less well received. As early as 1863, Admiral Fitzroy, Chief of the Meteorological Department of the Board of Trade commented that, they are not so well adapted for travellers, nor for the measurements of considerable elevations, as Vidie aneroids, which in some part contributed to the lack of uptake in the UK. Bourdon continued to work on numerous other designs and eventually became more renowned for his work on pressure gauges. He was a prolific inventor and died in 1884 whilst undertaking experiments on the effects of wind on steam locomotives. A fall from a moving carriage resulted in a head injury from which he died a few days following the accident and was buried in Pere Lachaise cemetery, Paris.
His barometer movements are today prized for their workmanship, beauty and for their rarity. The maker of the movement was Jules Richard (1848 1930), the son of Felix Richard, Bourdons original partner. Trained under his father and numerous other scientific and clock manufacturers, Richard made his own name in the 1870s in the manufacturing of telegraph equipment, also working closely with the French scientist EJ Marey on electrical and photographic recording techniques. Following the death of his father in 1876, he took over the family business and in 1882, he formed a partnership with his brother Max under the name of Richard Freres.
This partnership was dissolved in 1891 but the company maintained its partnership name with Jules taking sole control of the business until 1921 when it was listed as a public company. It diversified in later years into photographic equipment but the bourdon movement was a stock trade item for the company until at least the end of the nineteenth century.Given the JF makers stamp and the companys history, we can accurately date this example to between 1876 when Jules took over the business and 1882, when the Richard Freres partnership began. They would stamp later movements with RF. The painted stamp to the front of the glass (SL with candelabra) remains somewhat of a mystery but numerous French scientific instruments and spectacles are known to bear that mark. Although I can find no evidence of the exact name of the company, it would be reasonable to assume that they were a Parisian Optician and scientific instrument retailer commissioning these aneroid barometers from Jules Richard in the 1870s and exporting them to the UK market given that all of the weather indications are in the English language.
Jason Clarke Antiques are happy to discuss carriage, condition or for any other queries, alternatively, you can also message me and I will endeavour to come back to you as soon as possible. I have a number of beautiful antiques for sale, so please feel free to browse my other items. The item "VICTORIAN BOURDON BAROMETER BY JULES RICHARD WITH PAINTED GLASS DIAL" is in sale since Thursday, July 12, 2018.This item is in the category "Collectables\Scientific Collectables\Scientific Instruments\Barometers". The seller is "jason750_1" and is located in newbury, Berkshire. This item can be shipped to United Kingdom.