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C. W. Dixey Travelling Thermometer c.1845

C. W. Dixey Travelling Thermometer c.1845

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An antique C. W. Dixey of New Bond Street, London leather cased travelling thermometer, dating from c.1845. In lovely condition and full working order. Complete with its original fitted case. It also comes with a cardboard box from W. Bruford & Son Ltd, Goldsmiths and Silversmiths of Exeter. Bruford's were a long established firm, starting out in Exeter in 1721, and trading throughout the Victorian era, with premises in Exeter and Eastbourne. The thermometer is calibrated in both Fahrenheit and Réaumur scales. The Réaumur scale was used widely in Europe, particularly in France, Germany and Russia. By the 1790s, France had chosen the Celsius scale as part of the metric system, rather than the Réaumur measurement, but it was still in use in some parts of Europe until the mid-19th century.

C. W. Dixey: The business that eventually became C. W. Dixey & Son was established at 3 New Bond Street, London by William Fraser in 1777 as an optical and mathematical instrument company. Fraser's talent was recognised by King George III of England and Royal Warrants, and commissions followed. However, the business declined when an assistant, Mr Grice, used the premises as a gambling den. It was rescued in 1824 when Charles Wastell Dixey and his uncle George acquired the business. The business name changed to C. W. Dixey & Son in 1867. Over the next century the Dixey family served as optician to successive UK monarchs, and created one of London's most distinguished companies. The first 163 years were spent at 3 New Bond Street and 19 Old Bond Street, which was the most exclusive district of London, synonymous with the finest luxury goods. The Old Bond Street premises were destroyed in the Second World War, forcing relocation. The last member of the Dixey family to lead the firm was C.W. Dixey’s grandson, Walter, who transferred ownership to his loyal staff in 1929. The company is still in business today.

The thermometer is in very good condition, and full working order. The fitted leather case is in good condition, with some signs of wear. Part of the silk lining is missing from inside the lid, but this could easily be replaced.

Dimensions: 175mm length, 25mm width (case length: 185mm)