19th century Davy lamp beats estimate by 9,900%

A rare 19th century Davy lamp astonished auctioneers at a sale in Cirencester, UK on June 16.

It realised £15,000 ($19,215) against a £150 ($192) valuation at Moore Allen & Innocent.

Davy lamp Moore

The lamp features six bars surrounding the central flame housing 

The Davy lamp is named for its inventor, Sir Humphrey Davy, and was designed for use in the mining industry.

Introduced in 1815, it can be safely used in environments high in flammable gasses.

It works by housing the flame behind a fine wire mesh, keeping the fire from reacting with combustive gas.

It proved a huge lifesaver, dramatically decreasing the number of mine explosions.

This specimen was built in Newcastle by R Watson and is an extremely rare variant of the design.

"It was in a box of bits and pieces that came into the auction for a general sale”, auctioneer Philip Allwood told the BBC.

"As far as I can see, I can't find any miner's lamp making any more money than this…

"When I pulled it out of the box, I checked the maker and did a bit of research.

"I found several different versions of this sort of lamp selling over the last few years - one with four bars running down it that made £1,000, and several with three bars that made around £150, but no record anywhere of one with six bars like this one.”

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