July 11, 2008 6:20 AM   Subscribe

Dating an antique Dutch bakbarometer (contra barometer).

My dad has an antique Dutch "bakbarometer" he might want to sell. I've been trying to help him research the approximate date it was made, but everything I've found on the web looks a lot fancier (eg. brass, inlaid wood) and perhaps more recent.

Any MeFites out there who know anything about dating these odd instruments?

Here's the piece. Thanks!
posted by ZenMasterThis to Science & Nature (3 answers total)
Here's an antiques dealer in Durham, NC, who specializes in things like this. Maybe he can help (he might charge for appraisals), or at least refer you to someone closer to you.

The store is really great. Very victorian/sciencey.
posted by amtho at 6:53 AM on July 11, 2008

Best answer: If it's not a reproduction, I'd say it looks to be late 18th C., say 1780. Less ornate doesn't necessarily equate to more recent - in every period there were fine and not-so-fine versions of the same goods. Having said that, reproductions are very common in the world of barometers and clocks.

Your only way to be sure is to have the thing appraised, as amtho suggests... preferably by someone who knows barometers.
posted by le morte de bea arthur at 8:14 AM on July 11, 2008

Best answer: Here's a similar one dated 1795.

And this one, by the same maker as yours, is dated 1785.


You might want to send a (better) picture to those Dutch dealers. The thing is likely to fetch much more in Holland than Stateside, assuming that's where you are.

Here's one, dated 1820, same maker as yours, that sold at auction for 2600 Euros.
posted by beagle at 9:54 AM on July 11, 2008

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