19th Century mahogany ship's barometer by Spencer, Browning & Co., London
Spencer, Browning & Co. is one of the most recognized names in the 19th century production of instruments in general, and barometers in particular. This is a good and clean example, probably made for use by the Royal Navy or merchant marine. The case is mahogany with brass trim and engraved ivory register plates, and the gimbal is a correct replacement for the original. There is one small repair to the wood of the case, and the finish was recently repolished. The brass frames for the glazing and the ivory plates are all in very good condition; clean, clear and legible. The ivory set knob and mercury thermometer also appear to be original. The mercury system is correct for a marine instrument and old, and the cistern is marked as having been serviced in the shops of Joseph Somalvico in London, 1916.
William Spencer and Samuel Browning founded the firm known as Spencer & Browning in 1781, and in 1784 were joined by Ebenezer Rust, and the company was renamed Spencer, Browning and Rust. They continued under this name until Rust's death in 1840, then again renamed the firm Spencer Browning & Co., terminating about 1873. This barometer has the 111 Minories address, and should date about 1840-1850.