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English mahogany & satinwood wheel barometer by Salmoni - Details:

Salmoni wheel barometer This impressive English wheel barometer is made of finely figured mahogany with satinwood cross-banding inlay and edged with boxwood stringing. The silvered engraved barometer dial, with black enamel filling, is 10 inches in diameter and graduated in inches from 28 to 31.

Located just below the main dial is an alcohol-filled level dial which is signed by the maker P. Salmoni, Bath, and above the main is a thermometer with convex glass and over that a removable dry/damp indicator topped off by the swan neck pediment and brass finial.



Circa 1840.

Dimensions: 44 inches high

Click images below to view large detailed photographs of this early barometer.


Peter Selmoni (Salmoni) is recorded as having been working at 4, Milsom St, Bath between 1829 and 1841 moving to 24, Union St, Bath in 1833 until 1841.

The operation of the 'wheel' or 'banjo' barometer was invented by Robert Hooke in 1664, but not commercialized until over a century later. It is comprised of a Torricellian tube bent like a 'U' with two weights attached by a line, run over a pulley, which is connected to the hand on the dial. The one weight rides on the mercury column and the other acts as a counter weight to keep tension in the line. As the mercury moves up or down the line rotates the pulley which moves the hand on the dial.

Banjo or wheel barometers started being manufactured in the late 18th century in France and expanded to England in the early 19th century when a number of Italian immigrants started producing the cases. The earlier models tend to feature mahogany with marquetry in contrasting woods and inlay lines on the edges or stringing.


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