Francis Barker Hunter cased 'RGS' Pocket Compass c.1890
A Francis Barker hunter cased 'Scouting' pattern compass, dating from the last quarter of the 19th century. Although there are no maker's marks, this is a well-known Barker design - the paper card design is the distinctive Barker 'R.G.S.' pattern, which first appeared in production around 1875. The compass card was made with a version of Balmain's luminous paper, which utilized the luminous paint developed and patented by William Balmain in the 1870's and was widely used in compasses of the late 19th century. It was rendered luminous by exposure to bright light - often by burning magnesium ribbon close to the compass card. This particular compass design appeared in many Barker catalogues, from the late 19th century until the 1920s. The later versions, produced after about 1906, often had luminous radium markers, but these are not present in this earlier version, which was made before radium was available. This compass has a brass case (which would originally have had an 'oxidised' blackened finish, now worn on the exterior to a more bronze colour), paper compass card, transit lock, jewelled pivot, and a paper sighting line inside the lid. The compass is in full working order and finds north well. Further details of this type of compass can be found at the excellent trademarklondon website, and in Paul Crespel's book Trade mark London.
In good condition and full working order, and finds North well. With some minor marks, and wear to the original oxidised finish of the brass case.