At Auction | One of Only Three Original Fahrenheit Thermometers

Posted in Art Market by Editor on October 3, 2012

Christie’s press release for an upcoming sale:

Travel, Science, and Natural History Sale [6911]
Christie’s, South Kensington, London, 9 October 2012

Mercury thermometer, invented by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit

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Christie’s is proud to announce that an original mercury thermometer, invented by Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in 1714 and the only remaining example in private hands, is to be offered at auction in October 2012. One of only three thermometers ever created by the famous physicist, the others are owned by Museum Boerhaave, in Leiden, the Netherlands, and until recently, these were thought to be the only examples in existence. When offered at auction within Christie’s sale of Travel, Science, and Natural History including the Polar Sale to commemorate the Scott Centenary, 1912-2012 on 9 October 2012 [Sale 6911, Lot 69], the thermometer is expected to fetch between £70,000 and £100,000.

James Hyslop, Scientific Specialist, Christie’s commented, “It is very exciting to be able to offer at auction such an incredibly important scientific instrument, and one which collectors would never have believed would come to market. Inscribed on the back by Fahrenheit himself, this is an exceptional piece which has no precedent, and which I expect to cause a real buzz with connoisseurs and institutions on every continent around the globe.”

Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit (24 May 1686 – 16 September 1736)
A household name during his lifetime and even more so in the centuries since, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit was a physicist, engineer, and glass blower, best known for the temperature scale bearing his name which is still used today in many countries, as well as for his improvements on the mercury thermometer (1714). Born in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, he spent most of his life in the Dutch Republic. At the age of fifteen, following the death of his parents through mushroom poisoning, Fahrenheit began training as a chemist, and his personal interest in natural science led to his studies and experimentation in the field.

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