An unusual oak cased aneroid wall barometer possibly for use on a yacht Stebbing, Southampton, late 19th century The rectangular silvered scale bordered with a finely executed relief cast architectural arch including Tuscan pilasters and with foliate scroll engraved infill to upper quadrant areas, the curvature of the arch calibrated in barometric inches divided into fiftieths over the usual weather annotations to inner margin and signature Stebbing, SOUTHAMPTON, the centre with fine engraved strapwork flanked by a pair of banners inscribed FALL, FOR, S.W. LY., S.E., S.W., WET, OR, MORE WIND to the left opposing RISE, FOR, N.E. LY., N.W., N.E., DRY, OR, LESS WIND to the right, the lower margin inscribed REGISTERED No. 260 over panel LONG FORETOLD LONG LAST, SHORT FORETOLD SOON PAST opposing FIRST RISE ARTER LOW, FORETELS A STRONGER BLOW, fitted with steel pointer for the arched scale set behind thick bevel-glazed panel incorporating brass setting pointer within an ogee moulded surround, 19.5cm (7.75ins) high; now with a later moulded cornice 23cm (9ins) high overall. Provenance: Private collection, Hampshire (ref. B63). John Rankin Stebbing is recorded in Banfield, Edwin BAROMETER MAKERS & RETAILERS 1660-1900 as an optical, mathematical and nautical instrument maker who was working from 63 High Street, Southampton in 1833 where he was patronised by the Duchess of Kent and Princess Victoria. He then moved to 47 High Street by 1845 and went into partnership with Albert Wood in 1851 until 1853. Latterly he had an outlet at Dock Chambers (1857) and the business is believed to have continued throughout the rest of the 19th century being appointed makers to the Queen and the Royal Yacht Squadron. The compact size of the current lot together with exquisite design of the register coupled with the robust construction of the case would make it entirely appropriate for use on an expensive yacht. The annotations to the register suggest that it was made after Admiral Fitzroy published his Weather Book in 1862. Indeed the incorporation of some of the wording used on Fitzroy s design of mariners station storm barometer strongly supports the probability of the current lot being intended for use on board a sailing vessel.