Lavishly carved mahogany and probably unique stick barometer, signed on the top left of the ivory scales "S. PIKE & SONS. NEW YORK". The case appears to be carved from a single mahogany board measuring H-45" x W- 9" x D-1 3/8". The barometer has a deep beveled glazed panel covering the ivory scales which are beautifully and boldly engraved. The ivory vernier scale is adjusted by turning the round ivory key which is original. Surrounding the perimeter of the rectangular glass is a carved stepped molding. Above the molding is a large shaped panel with a magnificently deep relief carved rose flanked on the sides and above with deep carved foliation. Flanking each side of the case are curved carved leaves in an upswept pattern. Below the glass molding is a raised carved design through which the ivory adjustment key is located. Below the first raised section is a second molded thin panel holding another deep glazed panel which housed the engraved ivory thermometer scale and mercury thermometer. The case widens near the bottom and there is an oval panel with a raised carved portrait of George Washington in profile. Flanking the portrait on opposite sides are two carved volutes and a smaller pair below the portrait. At the bottom of the instrument is the original brass knob which is used to set the mercury level for the elevation of the location the barometer is to be used at. The back of the instrument retains its original double blocking system so that the instrument hangs flat against the wall. Mounted to the top double thick block is the original brass hanging hardware. (I-903)
Note 1: Benjamin Pike moved to America in March 1877. At age 21, he moved to New York where within a few years he established a shop which manufactured scientific instruments. Benjamin married Sarah and they had three sons: Benjamin Jr.1809, Daniel 1815 and Gardiner 1825. They all followed in the business. In 1831, Benjamin Jr. became a partner in the father's business and the firm was re-named Benjamin Pike & Son and moved to 166 Broadway. A decade later Daniel joined the firm and the firms name was adjusted to Benjamin Pike & Sons. The name reverted back to Benjamin Pike & Son when the ambitious Benjamin opened his own store as a competitor at 294 Broadway. Benjamin Pike Jr. died in 1864. Based on the lavish rocco carving, we date this barometer between 1840 and 1850.
Note 2: American scientific instrument makers including Benjamin Pike & Sons, generally created scientific instruments that were rather stark and simply utilitarian unlike the English who built both simple but also very lavish and decorative scientific instuments in the 19th century. Since this barometer is so magnificently carved and decorated and features an outstanding portrait of our first president, it is our belief that this barometer was probably a special order and is a unique one of a kind.
Condition: The barometer is in excellent working condition. The case has a warm deep patina and maintains the original finish. The ivory scales, mercury columns and adjustment features are working properly. The condition of the ivory scales and beveled glass is also excellent and undamaged.
Dimensions: Height 46 , Width 9, Depth 2 3/4 inches