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Object of the month: November 2019

Object of the month: November 2019

Spotlight on the Bute Collection’s Alexander Cumming Barograph.

The Bute Collection at Mount Stuart holds a variety of rare and beautiful clocks which have been collected by the Crichton-Stuart family over many generations. As we move from British Summer Time to Greenwich Mean Time over the coming weekend, we thought we would take a closer look at one of the Bute Collection’s striking timekeepers.

In the Ante Hall of Mount Stuart is a very special George III mahogany longcase regulator with a barometer and barograph. The steel dial has Arabic numerals and an outer circlet engraved with the months-of-the-year, and it is signed by the prominent Scottish watchmaker and inventor Alexander Cumming (1733-1814). The Cumming barograph’s ornate drum-shaped case sits on a carved pedestal with elaborate flowerheads, and it is attributed to a similarly pioneering producer: the cabinet-maker Thomas Chippendale (1718-1779). The elaborate decorative motifs which feature on the Cumming Barograph’s case are characteristic of Chippendale’s work of the later 1760s, and it is a particularly special example of clockwork from the eighteenth century.

If you would like to see the Bute Collection’s Alexander Cumming Barograph, you can take a closer look at it between the Nathaniel Westlake stained glass windows in the Ante Hall.