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Francis Barker Blue Needle Pocket Compass c.1890

Francis Barker Blue Needle Pocket Compass c.1890

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A Victorian brass box, push-fit lid, Francis Barker & Son pocket compass, dating from c.1875-1900. It has a blued needle with gold painted 'N' and 'S' points, a brass pivot, and a paper compass card. The compass is clearly signed on the card with the distinctive 'Trade Mark London' Barker logo. The reversed letter 'S' that forms part of the logo dates the compass to sometime after 1875, as this style of logo was adopted after Francis Barker's death in 1875. This design featured in many Barker catalogues until the mid 1920s. Further details of this type of Francis Barker compass design can be found in: Trade Mark London by Paul Crespel, and at the website.


The compass is in very good condition, working order, and finds North very well. The case and lid are in good condition, with some marks and signs of wear, but with much of the original lacquered finish still present on the base and interior of the lid. The glass is in good condition, with a tiny chip at the edge at ESE. The paper compass card and blued needle are in very good condition.

Dimensions: 45mm diameter

Francis Barker & Son: were established in London in 1848, as a maker of compasses and scientific instruments. Francis Barker produced a very wide range of compass designs over the years, supplying major retailers such as Negretti & Zambra, J. Lizars, C. W. Dixey, Dollond, and many others. The company prospered until 1932, when it was taken over and became F. Barker & Son (1932). After WW2 the company changed hands several times and the name is now carried by Pyser-SGI. They continue to produce the renowned Barker M-73, widely acknowledged to be the world's finest prismatic compass.