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Georgian Pocket Compass & Case c.1790

Georgian Pocket Compass & Case c.1790

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An 18th century Georgian pocket compass dating from c.1790 or possibly earlier. With a hand painted enamel or porcelain dial of a typically mid to late 18th century style. The design is similar to that of compasses sold by J & G Simms of London around 1790.

This compass has a delicate, finely made English bar needle, and a jewelled pivot. With a fire-gilt or gold plated case, original bevelled glass, and fitted leather case. The case is a very rare twin-clasp design, lined with red velvet. The outer covering is most likely shark or ray skin, which was typical of the late 18th century. The red velvet lining also points to a late 18th century date of manufacture. The compass is in full working order and finds North well. Although there are no maker's marks, this is a very high quality compass, undoubtedly from one of the finest makers of the time.


In good, original condition, and good working order. With general signs of age and use, some marks to the enamel dial, and some dust (actually looks like evaporated salt - was this a mariner's compass?) under the glass at the edges. The leather case is in good condition, with both clasps working well, and a good strong hinge.

Dimensions: compass: 35mm diameter, case: 45mm