Mid 19th century rosewood twin vernier marine barometer with mother of pearl and brass inlay by William Mowbray, Hartlepool
Inlaid mother of pearl decoration has been used around the world for centuries, and became very fashionable in English furniture and accessories at about the 1850s. Furniture and wood objects of all kinds were decorated with naturalistic motifs, usually birds and flowers. Barometers too were inlaid with the material, most often on a rosewood or ebonized (black) field.
This is a nice example of the art in a marine barometer, veneered with rosewood and inlaid with mother of pearl, brass wire and shaped brass panels. The register and thermometer plates are engraved ivory, in very good condition; clean, clear and readable. The gimbal is a correct replacement for the original, with replaced twin set keys of bone. The finish is old, with a recent clean and wax. The mercury cistern is correct for a marine instrument and old, with a correctly replaced marine mercury tube. There is a very similar marine barometer by William Mowbray in the collection of the Maritime Museum in Kronborg, Denmark.
William Mowbray practiced as a clockmaker in the Durham seaport of Hartlepool from at least 1841 to 1871. This barometer is about 1860 in date. With thanks to Mr. David Mowbray for genealogical information on this maker.