Robb Design Portfolio: Rare Forecast

The ability to predict the weather with godlike accuracy began with a single invention: the barometer. In 1643, a student of Galileo discovered that by measuring air pressure one could forecast sun, rain, wind, or thunderbolts, and barometers soon went from meteorological tools to status symbols of the elite, with ornate wood and gold-leaf barometers hanging in castles and the homes of nobility.

"Just as fashions changed, so did barometers," says Nicholas Wells, associate director of the English antiques dealer Mallett (+44.20.7499.7411, www.mallettantiques.com). During the neoclassical period, the instruments reached a pinnacle of opulence evidenced by the two rare Charles X specimens shown here. The circa-1825 barometers, on offer from Mallett, bear many signatures of the era, including verre églomisé (gilded glass). The one incorporating a stylized lyre (left) features a central cartouche with a surmounted thermometer ($25,000); the other device (right) is an unusual diamond design with decorative spandrels ($21,250). The forecast for finding either of them again: Chance at best.

This circa-1900 pink-swirl marble is in what Dan Morphy calls “wet mint condition,” or as pristine...
Photo by Tom Forsyth and Ron Jarrell
With more than 275 million game sets sold in the past century, Monopoly is the most popular board...
Photo by Bob Tursack
Maya Angelou’s art collection focused on works by African-American masters...
Paola Russo discovered two decks in Italy at G. Lorenzi, one covered in gold leaf and the other in...
When the air had cleared after the frenzy of New York’s spring art auctions, players and spectators...
The display is part of a hotel-wide renovation that will be completed by the end of the year...
Heritage Auctions will also offer Mickey Mantle’s rookie card and Mike Ditka’s Super Bowl playbook…
Photo by Cordero Studios⁄corderostudios.com
Charles and Judy Tate assembled a world-class collection of Latin American art—and then gave it all...
Photo by The Strong, Rochester, N.Y.
The American game culture is almost as old as the country itself...
Photograph by Ron Pierson, courtesy of Guernsey's
The bounty from the sunken ship includes 40 tons of silver and gold valued at $450 million…