A round barometer incorporated in a figural maritime-themed gilt metal stand in the Art Nouveau taste. A mermaid with an arched back holds the barometer in a lifesaver form frame in her upraised arms. The mermaid rests on a black painted base bearing an enameled circular emblem comprised of a blue flag with a centered white lozenge having a bold blue “K” within the center. This design was the house flag of the Kerr Steamship Line, a New York-based shipping company. Thus this object was likely produced in America as a promotional or souvenir item for them. The barometer itself was manufactured in Germany and is labeled in English.
The Kerr Steamship Line was founded in 1916 in New York by H. Farqharson Kerr and A.E. Clegg to take advantage of the opportunities offered by the development of transatlantic shipping after the outbreak of World War I. It grew rapidly and by 1920 had expanded beyond Europe, offering regular service between ports around the world, including South American and India. In 1994, the company was acquired by the shipping firm Norton Lilly and renamed Kerr Norton Marine.
Condition: Generally very good with only light overall wear.
A Souvenir of New York City Old and New. New York: New York Commercial. p. 294. Online at EBooks Free Online Library: http://www.ebooksread.com/authors-eng/new-york-commercial/a-souvenir-of-new-york-city-old-and-new-2yw.shtml (31 May 2012).
“About Us.” Norton Lilly International. 2003-2011. http://www.nortonlilly.com.pa/about-us.php (31 May 2012).
The Nautical Gazette. October 2, 1920. p. 429. Online at Google Books: http://books.google.com/books?id=zOBOAQAAIAAJ (31 May 2012).
Raeside, Rob. “House Flags of Canadian Shipping Companies (I-M).” 13 January 2012. Flags of the World. http://flagspot.net/flags/ca%7ehf3.html#Kerr (31 May 2012).