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  • Place of origin:

    London (made)

  • Date:

    ca. 1700 (made)

  • Artist/Maker:

    Quare, Daniel, born 1648 - died 1724 (maker)

  • Materials and Techniques:

    Turned ivory, ebonised wood and engraved brass

  • Credit Line:

    Bequeathed by Lt. Col. G. B. Croft-Lyons FSA

  • Museum number:


  • Gallery location:

    British Galleries, Room 56, The Djanogly Gallery, case 5

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.

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.

Place of Origin

London (made)


ca. 1700 (made)


Quare, Daniel, born 1648 - died 1724 (maker)

Materials and Techniques

Turned ivory, ebonised wood and engraved brass

Marks and inscriptions

Plate below the scale inscribed: 'Invented & made by Danl Quare London'


Height: 103.5 cm maximum, Width: 8 cm, Depth: 23 cm

Object history note

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"

Descriptive line

Portable Barometer - Quare

Labels and date

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]




Furniture and Woodwork Collection

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