London, South Kensington
29 June 2005
A rare mid-19th Century self-registering thermometer,
by NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA LONDON, the bent tube terminating in a long bulb in the centre and containing mercury at the bottom and highly rectified alcohol above, the two sections of the tube on either side each containing a steel wire index above the mercury with small glass beads at each end and a hair attached to act as a spring against the inside of the tube, mounted on a ceramic plaque headed with a crest and N&Z PATENT, scales up either side for COLD (133-0-17) and HEAT (10-0-130), in a trough-shaped metal wall-mounting (deterioration to hanging part) -- 32cm. (12 5/8in.) high
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NEGRETTI & ZAMBRA, A Treatise on Meteorological Instruments (London, 1864)
This ingenious instrument was invented by James Sixe of Colchester and appears to have been manufactureed exclusively - and briefly - by Negretti and Zambra. It works through the expansion and contraction of the alcohol in the central bulb, alternately raising the indexes in the neighbouring sections of tube. These should be set at the top of the mercury using a magnet, and the instrument must be kept vertical to prevent mixture of the two liquids within. Negretti and Zambra claim it as the only thermometer applicable for determining the temperature of the sea at depths.
No VAT will be charged on the hammer price, but VAT at 17.5% will be added to the buyer's premium, which is invoiced on a VAT inclusive basis.
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