The typical columnar case of sectioned ebonised fruitwood, solid rectangular wooden cistern cover with mouldings top and bottom, resting on hinged plain gilt-brass quadraped feet (restored), supporting a barley twist column beneath a tapering plain column separated by two ivory collets, the top section with carved volutes below the gilt-brass flat-top multipiece hood numbered 60 to the lower left side, the reverse with a small fruitwood backboard with hanging eye-ring and surmounted by two brass urn finials flanking a large brass finial encasing the top of the glass mercury tube.
The silvered register dial signed D: Quare Lond: Fecit and calibrated 28-31 in the normal manner and engraved with the various weather conditions, the left-hand refering to Winter and the right-hand to Summer. The sliding steel recording index pointer adjusted via a spring-tensioned sliding knob to the outside of the hood.
The Ford Family, (Quakers), Yealand Manor, Carnforth, Lancashire and by descent to Gervase Ford.
N. Goodison, English Barometers and Their Makers 1680-1860, Woodbridge, 1977, pp.206-221.
Daniel Quare, London No.60 Circa 1705
A fine Type II ebonised fruitwood and ivory-mounted, free-standing and pendant, portable pillar barometer.
By family repute, Quare barometer No.60, was in the Ford family for well over 100 years, they were prominent Lancashire Quakers and the family believed that they acquired it new, direct from their Quaker compatriot, Daniel Quare.
On 4th December 1694, the Dutch statesman, scientist and poet, Constantyn Huygens, wrote in his diary that he visited William III… Was in Kensington. The King called me again as he came out of his Cabinet, saying: “Zuylichem, Zuylichem” [Huygens was Lord of Zuylichem, the name of his Dutch estates], and showed me a barometer which the Quaker Quare had made for him, and it was such that it could be carried from one place to another…
By 2nd August 1695, Daniel Quare had been granted a 14-year patent for his portable pillar barometers… the first ever given for a barometer… and described as …a portable weather glass or barometer, which may be removed or carried to any place though turned upside down without spilling one drop of quicksilver or letting any air into the tube.
As with much of Daniel Quare’s output, his portable barometers were produced to different price points dependent on materials and complexity. Perhaps his most expensive models were the Type I, reversible double-dialed examples, which were supplied for home and export (in various languages – different on opposite registers). These were made from ivory, leather and walnut.
This Type II model was Quare’s simplest form with a single register, flat top hood and sliding pointer, it is one of three extant numbered examples; all are ebonised and ivory-mounted, the other two being:
No.59 – The Tom Scott Collection, now private collection Europe.
No.133 – Private collection Suffolk, U.K.
Despite the quadreped feet being replaced, this barometer has survived in wonderful condition. Of interest, when studying the more simple Quare barometers, such as No.60, it becomes apparent that those that have remained abroad and unaltered, often have plain unadorned feet, such as the two ebonised Quare barometers in Museo Galileo in Florence, obj. no.’s 1135 & 1136 (Quare no.136).