Nautical Instruments & Tools
WWII Kriegsmarine Barograph by Lufft of Stuttgart
These instruments are becoming increasingly rare. This example was purchased by us in 2007 and has been in my personal collection these last 16 years and is only now offered for sale as I have replaced it with another slightly earlier WWI example. During our ownership it has worked faultlessly and as intended. The aluminium drum is powered by a clockwork motor, that rotates once every 7 days and provides a visual graph confirming the variations in barometric pressure over the previous week. This historic instrument is a joy to own and is a far better way of watching weather trends than listening to the TV weather forecast!
The barograph features a rotating drum and an 8-ring vacuum stack which distorts with the fluctuations in atmospheric pressure and works in the same manner as an aircraft altimeter. The articulated arm carries a pen needle on the tip and the rotating drum holds the 7-day barograph chart. The internal clockwork mechanism is fitted inside the drum and the ink recording needle and bellows are all contained within a hinged wooden case, with a fine Kriegsmarine data plate in front of the aluminium carry handle. This is riveted to the case and features an eagle with wings outstretched, an 'M' indicating Kriegsmarine Naval issue and a KM number '408'; the chromed plated brass plaque shows minor age wear to the plating. The case itself is in fine condition and with a good patina; the only minor issue is a previous owner has placed a glass or similar on the top in a couple of places that has resulted in light staining. Whilst the top could be refinished to correct this, it hardly notices when on display or in use, and is now part of the character of the instrument, that remains in fine condition, despite now being at least 80 years old.
The glazed section of the case is hinged and is locked in the closed position by securing hooks. Interestingly the inside of the instrument case carries the remains of a paper lable that appears to indicate the instrument has either been sold or serviced by the quality nautical instrument makers and retailers of Joseph Sewells of Liverpool, who were suppliers to the Admiralty ;the firm remains in business today but is no longer in family ownership. The recording drum has been hand engraved 'M1088' and '7 T' which we believe stands for '7 Trommel' in German ; trommel translates to 'drum' in English so indicates the instrument has a 7-day movement fitted. The apparent lack of manufacturers details leads us to surmise this could be a late war instrument. We have previously owned a near identical KM barograph that was made by Lufft of Stuttgart (that purported to have been owned and used by Grand Admiral Karl Dönitz but that is another story) but we have also referenced another identical instrument, illustrated in Konrad Knrim's super reference book 'German Military Timepieces', as final picture attached, that indicates this was made by Deuta-Morell of Berlin. Only today however, in taking photographs for our listing, have we discovered the truth to its origins. Engraved on the cross bar, immediately above the vacuum stack, is the single stylised word 'Lufft' so we can now finally confirm this instrument did indeed originate from the Lufft factory at Stuttgart. The company was started by Gotthilf Lufft in 1873 and of course 'Luft' in German also means 'air', so an entirely appropriate, if coincidental name, for an instrument that works on the basis of the variations in air pressure. The instrument measures 6.5" x 11"x 5.5". (16.5 x 28 cm x 14 cm.) If you require any additional information or photographs, please do not hesitate to contact us.