John Davis, Cheltenham. c.1830.

A very rare Regency period inverted banjo barometer, the elegant figured mahogany veneered case with detachable thermometer box inset into the trunk. The case is surmounted by a swan-neck pediment fitted with an urn to the centre. The 6" silvered dial is well engraved with a scale reading 28-31" and the maker's name 'J. Davis, Cheltenham'.

(There are two J. Davis' listed in Cheltenham at this time, father and son, working together from their Cheltenham shop. More is known of John Jnr. who was apprenticed to Jacob Abrahams of Bath, see 6" barometer listed above. As was fairly common at the time he travelled around the country opening 'pop up' type shops for a few weeks at a time, he visited Derby for the first time in April 1830 where, after closing the Cheltenham shop in 1844, he relocated to and started the renowned firm Davis Derby)

History of John Davis' early connection with Derby.

1830. John Davis visits Derby for the first time staying for a few weeks. He opened a shop in Rotten Row.
1831. John Davis visits Derby again, his advertisement in the Derby mercury mentions Microscopes, Telescopes, Barometers, Camera Lucidas, Drawing Instruments and Surveying Instruments. On this visit he was based in Irongate opposite the old National West Bank.
1835-1836. On another visit to Derby, in an advertisement, John makes mention of Surveying Levels, Theodolites and Sextants
1837-1843. More visits follow but these are not well documented. On at least one visit he was based at 3 St Mary’s Gate.
1842. John opened a shop in Cheltenmam and married Emelia. It is believed that John’s Father also lived in Cheltenham.
1844. John Davis closed his Cheltenham shop and relocated to Derby on a permanent basis, he took the premises known as Haslam House at 21, Irongate.

This similar barometer is illustrated in Banfield, Edwin BAROMETERS Wheel or Banjo page 58 and described on page 55. Samuel Bregazzi is recorded by Banfield as working 1816-circa 1845 from Queen Street, Derby, again a possible connection with Davis and his visits to Derby.