Lot 24 (Home, Garden & Natural History Live Auction, lot 1-224, 18th May 2021)

£1,000 - £2,000

Buyer's premium: 25% (ex. VAT)

Lot details

Scientific Instruments: An exceptionally rare rain recording gauge by Negretti & Zambra of London with serial No M/2004

early 20th century

with maker’s plaque inscribed Negretti and Zambra, trademark London, together with a packet of original rain gauge papers

67cm high by 53cm wide by 34cm deep

This records rainfall from a tilting seesaw cradle into two vessels at the back of the case which is attached to an anchor type escapement and calibrated silver dial supporting an arm with inked point recording the rainfall onto the printed rain gauge paper attached to a clockwork drum. The copper top with angled rain tube is removable and the body of the case is removed by 4 wing nuts on the base. A number of recording charts are included in original envelope.

A similar example with anodised copper case may be seen in the Science Museum, London Object number 1921-322

Henry Negretti and Joseph Zambra founded their instrument manufacturing firm in 1850 at No 11 Hatton Garden in London. They occupied numerous other locations over the years. They were located at 38 Holborn Viaduct from 1869 to 1941, when the facility was destroyed in WWII bombing. Negretti died in 1879 and Zambra in 1897. The company went public in 1948, but profitability suffered, and they were taken over by Western Scientific Instruments in 1981. The company went into liquidation in 2000.