Barometer thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
On display at V&A South Kensington
British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery

Barometer

ca. 1700 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place Of Origin

Object Type
A barometer, or weather glass as it was also known at the time, measures atmospheric pressure by means of mercury in a long glass tube. Barometers were invented in 1643 and began to appear in English houses in the late 17th century. Portable barometers were designed to be hung on the wall or had collapsible brass tripod feet enabling them to stand on a table.

Design & Designing
In 1695 Daniel Quare applied for and was granted the first patent on the construction of portable barometers. Members of the Royal Society, the most eminent learned institution in Britain, were impressed by his design, which 'inverted without spilling the quick silver, or letting in any air, or excluding the pressure of the atmosphere'. It is likely that the idea came from a description of a portable barometer by Joachim d'Alsace published in Holland in 1688. Thomas Tompion, the leading English clockmaker of the period, also produced portable barometers and should be given some of the credit for their development.

People
A similar ivory-cased example, with weather indications in both French and English, is in the King's Bedroom, Hampton Court Palace. It was made for William III, for whom Quare made at least two other barometers.


object details
Categories
Object Type
Materials and Techniques
Turned ivory, ebonised wood and engraved brass
Brief Description
Portable Barometer - Quare
Dimensions
  • Maximum height: 103.5cm
  • Width: 8cm
  • Depth: 23cm
Dimensions checked: Measured; 11/12/1998 by sp/dw max width across base cross is 23cm; stem is central to the cross - CB 25/01/02
Marks and Inscriptions
Plate below the scale inscribed: 'Invented & made by Danl Quare London'
Gallery Label
British Galleries: Daniel Quare made not only barometers, but also clocks, watches and mathematical instruments. This barometer follows a design he presented to the Royal Society and which he registered in 1695. Barometers use an air vacuum to measure air pressure. Experiments in London and The Netherlands during this period produced airtight vacuums, which helped to make barometers more reliable.(27/03/2003)
Credit line
Bequeathed by Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons FSA
Object history
Made in London by Daniel Quare (born in Somerset, 1648, died in Croydon, Surrey, 1724).



Barometer on loan to the V & A and subsequently bequeathed by Col. Croft Lyons



Notes from R.P.26/6627



Listed on the Bequest Form

"183. Barometer in ivory and ebonized woodcase. By Daniel Quare (b.1648; d.1724). Late 17th or early 18th century"
Summary
Object Type
A barometer, or weather glass as it was also known at the time, measures atmospheric pressure by means of mercury in a long glass tube. Barometers were invented in 1643 and began to appear in English houses in the late 17th century. Portable barometers were designed to be hung on the wall or had collapsible brass tripod feet enabling them to stand on a table.

Design & Designing
In 1695 Daniel Quare applied for and was granted the first patent on the construction of portable barometers. Members of the Royal Society, the most eminent learned institution in Britain, were impressed by his design, which 'inverted without spilling the quick silver, or letting in any air, or excluding the pressure of the atmosphere'. It is likely that the idea came from a description of a portable barometer by Joachim d'Alsace published in Holland in 1688. Thomas Tompion, the leading English clockmaker of the period, also produced portable barometers and should be given some of the credit for their development.

People
A similar ivory-cased example, with weather indications in both French and English, is in the King's Bedroom, Hampton Court Palace. It was made for William III, for whom Quare made at least two other barometers.
Collection
Accession Number
W.64-1926

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record createdMarch 27, 2003
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