Napoleon III style, sometimes referred to as The Second Empire style, was greatly influenced by the Neoclassical aspects of the Louis XVI period. This giltwood barometer from Paris was made by the French company, Bodeur a Paris, during the Napoleon III period, circa 1830.
The top of the barometer features an “Apolline decoration”, with a mascaron of the God of Sun himself, set on top of a sunburst. There is a tied bow under Apollo’s chin, above the neck that is adorned with fluting reminiscent of an ordered column. A row of beading originates at the top of the neck and runs along the entire edge of the barometer’s facing. Surrounding this border is a raised molding that terminates at the top in a pair of volutes draped with a floral swag. The entire shape of the barometer is akin to a lyre, which was Apollo’s favorite musical instrument as the God of Music (he had many titles…).
A raised circular section near the base forms the housing for the barometer’s dial. The side of the platform is adorned with Vitruvian waves with a pierced center between the swells. Surrounding the glass face is a repeating foliage motif, complimenting the laurel leaves that encircle the dial. Two separate stems emerge from a tied bow at the top of the base of the column on the neck.
Although no longer functional as a scientific instrument (the mercury and mechanisms have been removed), our Napoleon III giltwood barometer would make for a fantastic wall-mounted sculpture. It is a perfect decorative accessory for a living room, office, or library.
CONDITION: Good overall condition with some nicks and losses to gilding and old touch ups to areas. Sunburst rays are fragile so must be handled with care. The barometer no longer functions as a scientific instrument, as the interior mechanisms have been removed. Please see photos.