Jason Clarke Antiques

Mid-Victorian Desk Aneroid Barometer in Oak Case by Negretti & Zambra


For sale, a mid-Victorian desk aneroid barometer in oak glass fronted case by Negretti & Zambra London.

This beautiful example is comprised of a four and a half inch silvered dial with a scale measuring 28 to 31 inches of atmospheric pressure and weather indications around the top section. The bottom section of the dial contains a curved Fahrenheit thermometer measuring from 20 to 120 degrees. All are expertly engraved in minute detail with the centre reserved for the maker, “Negretti & Zambra, London” and the serial number 2303 suggestive of a fairly early date of manufacture. It is complete with blue steel pointer and setting hand in brass with adjustment knob to the centre.

The case is made from beautifully figured golden oak with a sloped front and glass centre surrounded by an oak bezel frame for viewing of the instrument. The hinged front is secured to the right hand side by an original lock and key and the fitted interior also retains its original blue velvet interior.

This example is unlikely to have left its case very much since its creation as the original toned lacquer is almost 100% complete, it is somewhat rare to find them in this good original condition.

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.

A truly magnificent example of a mid-Victorian desk barometer.

Circa 1870

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