A French bronze table thermometer Cleopatra’s Needle, circa 1870
The silvered and engraved brass plate callibrated for Fahrenheit and Celsius, mounted on an obelisk with hyroglyphs to all sides, the sides of the base with inscription; Philippus Rex obeliskum xxv O anno MDCCCXXXVI, on the other side; En presence du Roi obelisque M. Lebas Le XXV OCT MDCCCXXXVI, the whole mounted on a square black marble base.
The inscription on the base indicates that this is a small representation of the obelisk on the Place de la Concorde in Paris. In 1831 the 3200 year old obelisk of the temple of Ramses II in Thebe was donated by the viceroy of Egypt to King Louis Philippe of France. Finally after a difficult and ingenious transport the 23 metre long and 230.000 kilo weighing monolythe was erected in 1836. M. Lebas was the engineer who was responsible for the transport and erection of the ‘Needle of Cleopatra’.