Mauretania barometer on Ebay

Not open for further replies.
I found this interesting item on Ebay...

cunard mauretania | eBay

Can anyone tell me a little more about it? I'm guessing this would have come from a passenger area on the ship since it was apparently purchased during the auction in Southampton before she sailed for the breakers (so presumably not necessary for the final voyage), and I would also imagine that an instrument from the bridge would have a brass case rather than the carved wood surround, and be a little less, well, frilly. Thoughts, anyone?
I don't think this barometer has ever seen the Mauretania let alone been on it. I have a number of fittings from the Mauretania and none of them have carving that is this poor and bland in design. If you look in Peter Newell's very detailed book you will see many references to the quality and brilliant design of the woodwork throughout all of which was designed or overseen by Harold Peto. There is little chance that he would have allowed this.The brass hanging plate wouldn't stop it sliding about all over the place in North atlantic swells either. As an Antiques Dealer with more years experiance than I would care to admit to I can remember seeing many examples of these in various household auctions. I would suggest it is a mass produced late Victorian household barometer - I bet there are a few more on ebay at a lot less.


Adam Gratwick
The barometer arrived yesterday. There's a small screw hole and an imprint from what could possibly have been another mounting bracket on the back at the bottom. The part about it "sliding all over the place in the North Atlantic swells" was the real kicker for me, but the evidence of a bracket at the bottom has me starting to wonder if this thing might be actually be authentic, though perhaps not original to the ship (judging by the quality of the woodwork). Is there a list anywhere of individual items sold at the auction in Southampton? It sure would be interesting to investigate this further, if only to know what exactly I got for my $500!
Hi Richard,

"Sounds like I should have posted it here before I bid on it then! Lesson learned there, I guess. Thanks for the info."

Well, I'd perhaps not post it here if you wanted to keep the price down on an authentic item, but research is always best done before you write a check etc..

Anyway, I went through all my candid photographs, brochures and original books to rule this out (or in, on the off chance) as was watching it since it appeared and I came up with nothing more than that some clocks in passenger areas were encased in remotely similar "frames" mounted into walls. If 1st Class, why not mahogany or walnut? I and others questioned the use of such an item in passenger areas as there is no precedent I am aware of on either the Mauretania or her sister. The carving, as Adam noted, is nowhere near the quality to be expected. Adam has a LOT more experience with her woodwork than I (and wood!) but the difference in quality and execution is night and day looking at what I do have from the 1st Class Lounge etc. There is very little reason beyond the auction story to believe it is any more than what Adam said it is. That he found such a similar item was very telling as it confirmed his original opinion. I have corresponded with Adam and he is extremely knowledgeable on this subject. It would be very safe in my mind to be guided by his opinion. I re-read the auction and you appear to have just three days to make your return - I'd work on that as it must be in their hands quite soon to get your money back. You ought to do fine - using online tools I have looked back and see they have no bad retracted feedback etc. so write I'd write an email and start the ball rolling, IMHO.

Eric Longo

Farewell to the Tyne: Photographs and Memories of the Mauretania Leaving North Shields - Revised 2/08 with additional information and unpublished photographs
Hi Richard. You may find that the mark on the back was from the lathe backplate that the piece of oak was screwed to when originally turned. I'm pleased that Eric has given his thoughts as he has access to a vast number of images and his knowledge is far broader than mine.


Adam Gratwick
Not open for further replies.