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James Gargory, Birmingham, Pocket Compass c.1858

James Gargory, Birmingham, Pocket Compass c.1858

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A Victorian Brass box English pocket compass, made by James Gargory of 41 Bull Street, Birmingham, c.1858. With a push-fit lid, paper compass card, a blued needle with gilt north and south markers, and a brass pivot. The compass is in excellent working order and finds North very well. The compass is nicely proportioned, at 36mm diameter, and just 10mm depth.

James Gargory of Birmingham: was an optician and mathematical and scientific instrument maker working in Birmingham from the early 1830s to the late-1880s. From 1833 to 1858 he was in business at 4 Bull Street, Birmingham, and moved to 41 Bull Street around 1858 - the premises he took over had formerly been a tavern. He remained at 41 Bull Street until around 1889. It has been suggested that Charles Dickens may have been inspired to name the character Joe Gargery in Great Expectations after James Gargory. Dickens is known to have visited Birmingham, and is said to have frequented the Queen's Head tavern, which was just around the corner from James Gargory's shop.


In very good condition, and full working order. The compass finds North very well. With general signs of age, and some wear to the original lacquered finish of the brass case. The lid is a very good fit. The paper compass card, needle, and glass are all in very good condition.

Dimensions: 36mm diameter (depth: 10mm)