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Francis Barker 'Colonial' Pocket Compass | Compass Library

Francis Barker 'Colonial' Pocket Compass

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A brass Hunter cased, Francis Barker & Son pocket compass, dating from c.1890-1926. Although there are no maker's marks visible, this compass is the 'Improved Colonial, No. 3014' compass which was made by Barker and featured in many Barker catalogues from the 1890s until the mid 1920s. Further details of this Francis Barker compass design can be found in: Trade Mark London (p.236) by Paul Crespel, and at the website. It also features in Kornelia Takac's book Compass Chronicles on p.68.


The compass is in very good condition, full working order and finds North very well. Unusually, the small brass insert in the compass needle is at the south end. The case is in very good condition and the glass is in excellent condition. The hand drawn paper compass card is in excellent condition, clean and unmarked. The pointer is an English Bar Needle with a jewelled cap. The original transit lock is present and fully functional. The lid itself is a very tight fit, but fully functional, and closes with a good firm snap.

Dimensions: 45mm (excluding loop), 65mm (inc. loop)

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.