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Formerly the property of Sir William and Lady Crookes and thence by descent
Sir William Crookes, OM, FRS (1832-1919), the eminent chemist and science journalist led a life of unbroken scientific activity and received many public and academic honours in recognition of his experimental work. Amongst his early achievements was the discovery of the element thallium in 1861. He devoted many years to the investigation of the properties of rare gases and the elements of the 'rare earths', and in the process invented the Crookes tube and the Crookes radiometer. During his experiments he passed electrical discharges through rarefied gases and discovered that as the pressure was lowered, the negative electrode appeared to emit rays. These so-called cathode rays were later recognised to be a stream of subatomic particles now used in cathode ray display devices, and it was Crookes's pioneering work in the use of vacuum tubes that made possible the discovery of X-rays as well as the electron. In 1859 he launched the weekly Chemical News and contributed regularly to other scientific journals; he published numerous papers and several technical books, including a small book, Diamonds (1909), a subject that fascinated him during two visits to South Africa. He married Ellen Humphrey in 1856 and proved to be a devoted husband, (see lot 2, a gold buckle given on the occasion of their Golden Wedding Anniversary in 1906). The couple had ten children, although only four were to survive into adulthood. Crookes died at his home in London on 4th April 1919, less than three years after his wife, and was buried in Brompton cemetry. He was knighted in 1897 and in 1910 appointed to the Order of Merit. At various times he was president of the Chemical Society, the Institution of Electrical Engineers, the Society of Chemical Industry, the British Association for the Advancement of Science, and from 1913 to 1915, the Royal Society.
Post Lot Text
Accompanied by a card stating "With H.H. Maharajah of Jhalawar's best compliments for xmas 1913" and a photograph of the Maharajah in a silver frame