Until now was thought that there was only two mercury thermometers invented by the famous physicist, Daniel Gabriel Fahrenheit in the early 1700s. But, actually, there was three original examples of the Daniel Fahrenheit thermometer in existence, two of which are in the Boerhaave Museum in the Netherlands, and the third one, the only remaining example in private hands, is to be offered at at Christie’s London showroom on October 9, where is expected to fetch between £70,000 ($111,120) and £100,000 ($158,740).
Christie’s James Hyslop, Scientific Specialist, Christie’s said: “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.”
This example, which goes under the hammer and had been in a private collection for over 40 years, measures just 4.5 inches, and is made of brass, and is numbered of course, using the Fahrenheit temperature scale, that is still in use today in some countries. The mercury tube isn’t the original and has been replaced, but that’s certainly the way the thermometer was designed. It was a thermometer for scientific purposes perhaps for measuring the temperature of liquids.
Fahrenheit invented the mercury thermometer in 1714, but no one known for the sure exactly how many he made and when, probably somwhere between between 1715 and 1730, since one example in the museum is dated 1718.