Jason Clarke Antiques
Early Twentieth Century Desk Standing Perpetual Calendar by Negretti & Zambra
For sale, a scarce desk standing perpetual calendar by Negretti & Zambra.
Constructed entirely of brass with A frame stand and hinged single leg support, the front is surmounted with two moving dials or volvelles. The outer, hand-operated dial is engraved with months and the requisite number of days for each, a central dial is incorporated into the face plate which is in turn engraved with the days of the week and can be hand operated by means of a knurled dial behind the face plate.
The central dial is engraved with days of the month and moon phases, with arrows above which co-ordinate with the inner dial to tell the observer what days and dates correlate to that particular month.
The face is further engraved with the motto, “Come what come may, time and hour run through the toughest day”. It is further engraved with the maker’s name, “Negretti & Zambra, London” to the lower section.
This rare item was probably conceived by Negretti & Zambra as an accompanying product to their famous weather forecaster patented in 1915, however they were likely to have been produced in much lower volumes given the few that seem to appear on the market. A nice companion for a weather forecasting set or a useful and aesthetically pleasing standalone piece for the desk.
Negretti & Zambra were a leading name in the production of meteorological and scientific instruments and had a company history dating back to 1850 although their parents were amongst those Italian emigres that bolstered the British meteorological instrument making industry at the turn of the century.
Throughout their long and esteemed history they exhibited at British and international industrial fairs and became makers to both Queen Victoria and Edward VII. Owing to changes in the business, the firm ceased the public retailing of scientific instruments sometime around the late 1960’s and continued with a focus on the aviation industry in numerous guises until its eventual liquidation in the year 2000. They are today perhaps the most collected of the scientific instrument firms which bears testament to the quality of their work.
Please note, the darker areas to the reverse of the calendar are simply casting marks in the brass.