Jason Clarke Antiques
Late Victorian Aneroid Wall barometer with Lion Mask Motif by Negretti & Zambra London
For sale, a Late Victorian aneroid wall barometer with bronze lion mask motif by Negretti & Zambra.
Comprised of a large ten inch oak circular base with a seven an a half inch scale plate and graduated bronzed bevel. The scale measures 28 to 31 inches of barometric pressure and has weather indications around the outer circumference. Reflecting the barometer’s eighteenth century beginnings, the scale design intentionally bears similar qualities to its predecessors with a star motif to the centre of the dial and a pointer hand which would comfortable work with a barometer of the early Victorian period.
The main body is completed with a domed, bronzed classical pediment bearing a cast lion mask design holding a pseudo handle within its mouth which is connected to the oak base. A very striking design which marries historical technology and design to the present. This nod to both the company’s Italian origins and its early years of trading creates a striking and imposing example of an aneroid wall barometer.
The scale is of course marked to the makers, Negretti & Zambra but is engraved with earlier typeface, the give away being, the later company N&Z trademark and the serial number 3720.
An imposing and scarce example of a wall aneroid whose design has stood the test of time somewhat better than its early Twentieth Century counterparts.
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.