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Antique Pietra Dura Marble Malachite Thermometer C.1880

Antique Pietra Dura Marble Malachite Thermometer C.1880

Antique Pietra Dura Marble Malachite Thermometer C.1880


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About this item

This is a wonderful Derbyshire Ashford marble thermometer, circa 1880 in date.

The thermometer features a silvered register engraved with ENSIGN, FAHRT and a central mercury tube.

The arched cresting is beautifully inlaid with a Pietra Dura of white flowers and malachite leaves, above two bands of specimen stones comprising Blue John, Cornelian, Lapis Lazuli, Cararra Marble, Malachite and other specimen stones.
This delightful object will look beautiful on display in any room in your home.


In excellent condition, please see photos for confirmation.

Dimensions in cm:

Height 20 x Width 12 x Depth 7

Dimensions in inches:

Height 8 inches x Width 5 inches x Depth 3 inches

Pietra dura is a term for the inlay technique of using cut and fitted, highly polished coloured stones to create images. It is considered a decorative art.

Pietre dure is an Italian plural meaning "hard rocks" or hardstones; the singular pietra dura is also encountered in Italian. In Italian, but not in English, the term embraces all gem engraving and hardstone carving, which is the artistic carving of three-dimensional objects in semi-precious stone, normally from a single piece, for example in Chinese jade.
The traditional convention in English has been to use the singular pietra dura just to denote multi-colored inlay work. However, in recent years there has been a trend to use pietre dure as a term for the same thing, but not for all of the techniques it covers, in Italian.
But the title of a 2008 exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Art of the Royal Court: Treasures in Pietre Dure from the Palaces of Europe used the full Italian sense of the term, probably because they thought that it had greater brand recognition. The material on the website speaks of objects such as a vase in lapis lazuli as being examples of "hardstone carving (pietre dure)"
The Victoria & Albert Museum in London uses both versions on its website, but uses pietra dura. "A method of inlaying coloured marbles or semi-precious stones into a stone base, often in geometric or flower patterns...."
Giovanni Montelatici (1864-1930) was an Italian Florentine artist whose brilliant work has been distributed across the world by tourists and collectors. Owners of Giovanni's work included Donald Trump.


W12.0 x H20.0 x D7.0 cm



Wear condition


Date of manufacture



19th Century




VAT status

Seller is VAT registered


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