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Decorative Arts

On View: Decorative Art, 19th Century, 4th Floor
MEDIUM Walnut, brass, glass, mercury
  • Place Manufactured: Brooklyn, New York, United States
  • DATES ca. 1855
    DIMENSIONS 18 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 1 5/8 in. (47 x 13.3 x 4.1 cm)  (show scale)
    MARKINGS Impressed on front top of thermometer: "W. NORTON/ BROOKLYN" Temperature lines and notations embossed on brass to either side of glass. On left, numbers -30 to 120 in 10 degree intervals in descending order with horizontal lines marking each degree. To right of glass, from top to bottom: “BLOOD / HEAT” at 98 degree mark, “SUMR / HEAT” at 76 degree mark, “TEMP / RATE” a 50 degree mark, and “FREEZ / ING” at 32 degree mark. Handwritten on paper label at top back of object: "7138"
    COLLECTIONS Decorative Arts
    MUSEUM LOCATION This item is on view in Decorative Art, 19th Century, 4th Floor
    CREDIT LINE Gift of Paul F. Walter, by exchange
    RIGHTS STATEMENT Creative Commons-BY
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    CAPTION W. Norton (born ca.1810). Thermometer, ca. 1855. Walnut, brass, glass, mercury, 18 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 1 5/8 in. (47 x 13.3 x 4.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Paul F. Walter, by exchange, 2011.39. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2011.39.jpg)
    IMAGE overall, CUR.2011.39.jpg. Brooklyn Museum photograph, 2011
    "CUR" at the beginning of an image file name means that the image was created by a curatorial staff member. These study images may be digital point-and-shoot photographs, when we don\'t yet have high-quality studio photography, or they may be scans of older negatives, slides, or photographic prints, providing historical documentation of the object.
    CATALOGUE DESCRIPTION Glass and mercury thermometer on flat, inverted u-shaped patinated brass background set into high-relief hand carved dark-stained walnut frame in the Rococo Revival style. Raised scroll with leaf-like detailing at top. Below scroll, stylized leaves flank eight-petal flower with semi-spherical center. Irregularly spaced incised lines of varied lengths radiate around top center flower and scroll, continuing horizontally around outer edges of wood frame. Thin concave-bevel wood frame surrounds brass thermometer background and tapers outward to heavily carved surround with symmetrical jagged-edged outline. On brass, clear glass vertical tube with white background and mercury terminating in bulbous mercury well at bottom. On either side of flared wood surround, jagged scrolls at top uncurl into abstract twigs with flower bases, a four-petal flower proper right, seven-petal flower proper left. A pair of stylized leaves sit beneath each flower, roughly at center height of the object. A pair of stylized scrolls, similar to those at object’s upper half, appear at the bottom corners of the wood frame. At bottom center of the wood frame, a four-petal flower with semi-spherical center rests on three stylized leaves, arranged proper left, proper right, and below. An inverted u-shaped metal plate hanger is fastened to the top back of the flat wood frame. Condition: Very good
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    W. Norton (born ca.1810). <em>Thermometer</em>, ca. 1855. Walnut, brass, glass, mercury, 18 1/2 x 5 1/4 x 1 5/8 in. (47 x 13.3 x 4.1 cm). Brooklyn Museum, Gift of Paul F. Walter, by exchange, 2011.39. Creative Commons-BY (Photo: Brooklyn Museum, CUR.2011.39.jpg)