Following his pioneering work to create the first ever replica of John Harrison’s oldest clock (circa 1713), antiques specialist Matthew King has now recreated the unique and iconic barometer built by the esteemed 18th century London clockmaker, Daniel Delander.
The Delander barometer combines science with decorative art, an instrument for measuring atmospheric pressure to help predict weather conditions, in a spectacular and opulent case. The replica that Matthew has created is an authentic representation of the sadly disappeared original, which was the only one of its type to have been made.
Daniel Delander was an English clock and watchmaker in the late 17th and early 18th Century. He was a member of the Clockmakers Company made a range of horological items, including mantel and longcase clocks.
Delander was an apprentice of Thomas Tompion, who is recognised as a “Father of English Clockmaking”, and opened his first shop in Devereux Court, Westminster, before moving to Two Temple Gates and finally to Fleet Street. Delander’s barometers are his rarest work and only a few are in existence, but the whereabouts are unknown.
Matthew King worked on this commission in his Surrey workshop, and it took several years to fully complete. Committed to following the historic crafts processes familiar to Delander in the 18th Century, Matthew took all his direction from the two single images he had of the original to keep at as true to the original as possible.
“It is important to me that cultural heritage such as this rare barometer is preserved for future generations,” said Matthew King, director of Time Traveller Clocks. “Conserving an object is often a challenge, however replicating a completely lost object is a considerably trickier proposition!”
The barometer comprises both wooden structures adorned with ebony veneers, silver inlay and mounts. All the mounts needed to be designed and modelled before moulds could be made to then allow the mounts to be cast, so Matthew’s calculations needed to be precise for this. The two Corinthian column capitals are built from three separate castings to create the open and delicate details of scrolls and acanthus leaves.
The replica was created for a client who had seen the original barometer in a magazine and been previously impressed by Matthew’s achievements.
“The craftsmanship of this barometer is so wonderful,” said the Time Traveller Clocks client. “The proportions are perfect, the drama of ebony contrasting with silver is striking, and the appearance is so like one of Delander’s pieces. Matthew’s devotion to finalise this complex restoration is extremely impressive.
“The piece is in pride of place on the wall, and I love to check the level every morning to predict the upcoming weather. Historical accuracy, attention to detail and excellent communication are hallmarks of any Time Traveller Clocks project.”
“I’m extremely pleased with the finished barometer and delighted to hear about the pleasure it is giving the new owner,” said Matthew. “Despite my decades of working with clocks and furniture pieces, the learning never stops! Passing on skills and knowledge is something I seek to do in my work. Creating this barometer replica is my way of restoring those traditional methods for future clockmakers.”
Time Travellers Clocks is a horology business led by founder Matthew King. With over three decades of experience working on period clock cases and important furniture pieces, Matthew developed an interest in rare horological items and a desire to create many important historical items, such as the 1713 John Harrison clock and the 18th Century Delander barometer.
Time Traveller Clocks combines years of experience from a range of specialists, meticulous creativity and understanding of horology – direct from the original historical structures, from the past and for the future.
Matthew King has over three decades of experience working on period clock cases and important furniture pieces, and a wealth of expert contacts that he works with to complete large projects like the Harrison clock replica and the Delander barometer. He is currently working on an additional barometer replica which is available to order.
For more information or to get in touch with Matthew, please visit www.timetravellerclocks.com.