Thomas Blunt, London. A fine and important mahogany stick barometer and thermometer.

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  • Length: 38” (96cm).

The round top mahogany case is very elegant with a slender trunk and moulded border and a turned hemispherical cistern cover.

The silvered and engraved thermometer plate completely covers the trunk and an ornately pierced brass cover shields the thermometer bulb.

It is fitted with a bayonet barometer tube which allows most of the tube to be hidden and the top part visible and flush with its scale plate. The barometer plate is engraved, silvered and signed ‘T. Blunt, London’. It is fitted with a manual sliding vernier.

An almost identical barometer, signed ‘Nairne and Blunt’ is illustrated in ‘English Barometers 1680 – 1860’ (revised edition) by Nicholas Goodison.

 

Thomas Blunt, 22 Cornhill, London.

Mathematical Instrument Maker to His Majesty

Thomas Blunt was the son of a Surrey shoemaker and was apprenticed in 1760 to Edward Nairne. He was free of the Spectaclemakers’ Company in 1771 and formed the well known partnership of Nairne and Blunt in 1774. This partnership name was used after Nairne’s death in 1806, until 1822 and their successor T. Harris continued to use Blunts name until 1827. Blunt appears in various directories by himself from 1801. His son joined the business in 1805.

Thomas Blunt was an instrument maker of distinction and associated with the Portuguese scientist J.H. de Magellan. He devised some of the features of Magellan’s ‘New Barometer’ designed for measuring heights etc. Magellan published its description in 1779.

The British Museum has in its collection one of Thomas Blunts trade cards. It is illustrated along with further details on Blunt and his barometers in ‘English Barometers 1680 – 1860’ (revised edition) by Nicholas Goodison and in ‘Barometer Makers and Retailers 1660 – 1900’ and ‘Barometers, Stick or Cistern Tube’ both by Edwin Banfield.

 

 

 

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