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, with a mahogany case and brass frames for the register plates and thermometer. Register and thermometer plates are engraved ivory. The thermometer is graduated in Fahrenheit and centigrade, with Fever Heat marked at 113 degrees! The gimbal is an old and correct replacement for the original. The finish is old, with a recent clean and wax. The brass frames for the glazing are original and in good condition, and the ivory plates are in very good condition; clean, clear and readable. The ivory set knob and mercury thermometer also appear to be original. The mercury cistern is correct for a marine instrument and old, with a correctly replaced marine mercury tube.
William Spencer and Samuel Browning founded the firm known as Spencer & Browning in 1781, and in 1784 were joined by Ebenezer Rust, at which time 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., and terminated about 1873. This barometer was made about 1840-1850.