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Miniature Transparent Compass c.1900 | Compass Library

Miniature Transparent Compass

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A miniature transparent compass, made in England, difficult to date, but possibly from c.1890-1920. This type of compass was probably intended to be used with a map, with features such as roads and obstacles being visible through the glass. F. Barker & Son made various transparent compasses, often known as cyclists or riders compasses, during the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and this compass may have been made by them. In J. H. Steward catalogues of the time they were described thus: 'If laid on a map, being transparent, the direction of roads can readily be seen'. This type of compass could also be used as an escape compass, easily concelaed in the serviceman's uniform or equipment, and intended to be used if captured or escaping from the enemy. The compass has a blued, arrow-shaped needle, hand painted cardinal points, and a brass case.


The compass is in good condition and finds North well. There is some minor wear to the case and glass.

Dimensions : 19mm diameter, 6mm depth