Case

The mahogany veneered case with broken pediment, the centre surmounted by a turned brass urn finial with hydrometer below a curved brass plaque inscribed Jno. Alment Dublin fecit and centred by a printed collage, A Perpetual Regulation of Time, published by Jno. Alment Optician, Marys Abbey, Dublin and flanked to one side by a mercury thermometer with breakarch silvered engraved brass scale marked in Fahrenheit within a stylised wheatear border.

The other side with breakarch silvered engraved brass barometer scale marked in inches with matched engraved border, sliding slave scale and brass pointer to the mercury filled tube, both with turned gadrooned cistern covers to their bases.

The printed dial with semi automated calendar showing days of the month, length of day, sunrise, sunset with fixed feasts, tides and moon phase with signs of the zodiac.

The series of moveable paper dials mounted onto wheels within the rear of the frame and hand operated via turned knobs to the front

Provenance

From an Irish Country House, private collection.

Private collection, UK.

Comparative Literature

Edwin Banfield, Barometers, Stick or Cistern Tube, 1985, p. 150;

Nicholas Goodison, English Barometers 1680-1860, 1985, p. 278.

Notes

John Alment (c.1740-1787) was at Mary’s Abbey between 1767-1787 and his name appears in the directories in the format ‘Optician, Mary’s Abbey’ 1772-1774. In 1768 he had advertised in the Dublin Mercury: The Improved Barometer which has had the approbation of the Dublin Society is made only by John Alment, Optician in Mary’s Abbey who manufactures all sorts of optical, philosophical, and mathematical instruments and as said Alment was for several years foreman to the late Mr Margas of Capel Street whose children have now entirely thrown off that business, he humbly intreats the favours of his customers, as it will always be his study to merit their countenance and protection. (Ref. J. E. Burnett/A. P. Morrison-Low, Vulgar & Mechanick, The Scientific Instrument Trade in Ireland 1650-1921, Dublin 1989).