A fine George III barometer with full length thermometer by Nairne and Blunt, London, circa 1780 .
(Both Nairne and Blunt were superlative instrument makers. Nairne’s career began in 1748, when he became free of the Spectacle Makers’ Company. He went on to be elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1776 and retired in 1801. Blunt was similarly free in 1771 and died in 1822. The pair were in partnership from 1774 to 1793, but the joint name persisted until Blunt’s death, thirty years later.
To further complicate matters, both men continued to produce solo instruments under their own name, as well as jointly signed pieces. There is an impressive trade card for Blunt in the British Museum, bearing the Royal Coat of Arms and describing him as “Mathematical Instrument Maker to His Majesty” ; the card is illustrated with an engraving of the interior of his shop at 22 Cornhill).
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