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The Art of Monarchy

A collaboration with BBC Radio 4 to mark Her Majesty The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee

Alexander Cumming (1733-1814)

Barometrical Clock 1763-65

RCIN 2752

Throne Room, Buckingham Palace

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Among the substantial number of precision horological and scientific instruments that George III assembled at Buckingham House in the early part of the reign, this exceptional barograph is outstanding for both its mechanical complexity and the richness of its case. The movement was designed and made by the Scot Alexander Cumming and incorporates a month-going regulator clock with Cumming’s own escapement and an Ellicott compensating pendulum. A siphon wheel barometer in the trunk, supported between ivory Corinthian columns, is mechanically connected to the concentric six- and twelve-month charts which surround the clock dial. This barograph cost the King the large sum of £1,178, to which he added a payment of £150 and an annual retainer to Cumming of £37 10s for maintaining the barograph.