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Francis Barker M-72 Prismatic Compass

Francis Barker M-72 Prismatic Compass

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A very rare example of the Francis Barker M-72 in lovely condition. A liquid filled military prismatic compass, it comes with its original Francis Barker fitted leather case and shoulder strap.

The Francis Barker M-72 Prismatic Marching compass was a direct descendant of the legendary MK III that was in use throughout the second world war. Produced in the UK in 1972, it was a development of the M-71 which was introduced in 1971 and was one of the last Barker compasses to feature a mother of pearl card. The M-72 was only made during 1972, in very limited quantities, before being replaced by the M-73 in 1973. The M-73 remains in production today, is still regarded as the world's finest liquid prismatic compass, and is standard military issue with many armed forces. The M-72 was very similar to the M-71, with a brass case and lid. Most of the M-71 and M-72 compasses were totally unmarked, some had 'Pat. Appd. For' engraved on the base, or in rare cases, like this one, also had the retailer's details added on the base. This compass was retailed by 'M.D.S', ('Manufacturers & Distributors Syndicate Ltd', who were founded in 1920 to deal with Government surplus), and their mark is engraved on the base. Almost all of the M-72 compasses were exported to Australia. (Further details of the M-72 can be found at Paul Crespel’s excellent website:

(Please Note: this compass is not available for shipping to the USA)


The compass is in excellent original condition, in full working order, and finds North very well. There are no bubbles in the fluid. The night lights have now expired and would need to be renewed if the compass was to be used in total darkness. It would be very difficult to find a better example of this rare compass. It comes complete with its original Francis Barker fitted leather case and shoulder strap.

Dimensions : 85mm x 60mm x 34mm