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Antique Barometers Buying Guide

Antique barometers are beautiful and a really practical piece of equipment – it is easy to see why they are so collectable and becoming increasingly popular to collect. Everyone loves talking about the weather – predicting whether it is going to rain or snow or just simply discussing it. Barometers are just as popular today as they were years ago due to how they look and what they do. But what are barometers and what should you be looking for if you would like to start collecting them?

What Is An Antique Barometer?

Various antique barometers

A barometer is a scientific instrument that is used to measure air pressure in a certain environment. This can help to forecast short term changes in the weather which helps people to analyse what is happening.

The barometer was first invented back in the 1600’s – supposedly by Evangelista Torricelli who was a student of Galileo. There are different types of barometers including water and mercury.

Barometers have been used domestically since the early part of the 18th Century and they are now highly sought after to complement other antique furniture in a home.

What Should You Be Looking For?

If you are thinking about collecting antique barometers, then it is important to know what you are looking for and what is considered an antique barometer. Any of the following are great antiques to add to your collection:

·         Antique Aneroid Barometers

·         Antique Banjo Barometers

·         Antique Barographs

·         Antique Oak Barometers

·         Antique Stick Barometers

·         Antique Wheel Barometers

What Checks Should You Be Doing Before Buying An Old Barometer?

When it comes to buying antique barometers, it is important that they are in good condition. As with all antiques, a little wear and tear is to be expected but if it is incredibly damaged, you might want to reconsider purchasing. Many antiques dealers will even restore some items back to perfection. They will be honest if they have done this and let you know exactly what they have restored. Most antique barometers will have been restored in some way or even had some parts replaced and should not affect a buyer’s interest unless the barometer is in awful condition.

You should be looking for barometers in original condition which are also top quality and featuring the signature of the maker but these are incredibly rare and can be very expensive when they do make their way onto the market.

Feel free to ask any questions, whether you are at an antique dealer or you are dealing with an auction house. The seller should be happy enough to let you examine the piece thoroughly and also tell you if any restorative work has been done.

Doing your research into the different barometers you are interested in will help you to concentrate your search on the items you are most keen to purchase. As there are many different types, you can either concentrate on one specific type or opt to collect all types of barometers.

You should be checking for:

·         Good condition – wear and tear are to be expected but extensive damage Is not

·         Any restorative work – any reputable seller will let you know if anything has been restored

·         Signature of the maker – although this is often incredibly rare

What Is the Difference Between These Barometers?

Aneroid barometers measure air pressure with no liquid and originated around 1840. The scientist credited with producing the first aneroid barometer replaced Torricelli’s tube with a metal vacuum disc instead. It became more portable which meant it could be used outside but they did find it was less accurate. The springs and levers inside the sealed box of the aneroid barometer will expand or contract with changes in the atmospheric pressure within the box.

The banjo barometer and wheel barometer are technically one and the same thing. They were created by an English physicist Robert Hooke who added a dial assembly and circular scale to the existing stick barometer.

As time has progressed since the original creation of the barometer by Torricelli in the 1600s, scientists have changed different elements so that we have all of the different types of barometers that we have today.

What Antique Barometers Are Most Collectable?

You are probably wondering if any particular type of antique barometer is most collectable. The answer is that it is not possible to say if any particular type of barometer is more collectable as sold prices at auction or from antique dealers vary. Sometimes stick barometers or banjo barometers can sell for a large price whereas at other times aneroid or recording barometers can fetch a high price.

Where Can You Buy Antique Barometers?

You can often pick up great quality antique barometers from auction houses and museums – museums tend to be quite picky with what they show so you can guarantee authenticity and a good condition for any items you might buy from there.

However you can also pick them up from many different antique dealers, an antiques store with some o these dealers and stores specialising in barometers in particular. These antique dealers know antique barometers back to front and will only buy the best quality and collectable barometers so you know that anything you buy from them will be authentic and in pretty good condition.

You might also be able to pick up collectable antique barometers via a private sale however it is vital that you do the research and check for authenticity and condition before you commit to buying anything.

Many people collect antique barometers and it is easy to see why. They are stunning pieces of equipment that are also extremely practical and the right piece can be worth quite a lot of money. Once you know what to look for, buying antique barometers will be a really rewarding experience.