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Francis Barker Shallow Hunter Compass c.1900

Francis Barker 'Shallow Hunter' Pocket Compass c.1900

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A rare Francis Barker 'Shallow Hunter’ brass cased compass, manufactured c.1890 to 1905. Although it does not have the distinctive 'TML' Barker trademark, the design was registered by Barker and was exclusive to that firm. Most of these compasses were supplied by Barker unsigned to the retail trade. This one is particularly special in that it has a miniscule 'FB' stamp (the initials of Francis Barker) to the centre of the suspension loop - something that would generally only be seen on hallmarked silver compasses. The design was known as a 'Shallow Hunter' because of the exceptionally slim case, which is only 10mm thick. It has a distinctive milled crown, English bar needle, jewelled pivot, and an automatic transit lock. At only 38mm diameter this is an unusually small version of the shallow hunter: most of these compasses were made in the larger 50mm size. Further information on this type of compass can be found on p.182 of Paul Crespel's excellent book, Trade Mark London, at


The compass is in very good condition and finds North well. The push-button crown opens the case, and the lid closes just as it should. The transit lock is present and working. The original glass is in very good condition. The aluminium compass card is in excellent condition. The case is in good condition, with some marks and wear to the original gunmetal-coloured oxidised finish. The oxidised finish inside the lid is in excellent condition.

Dimensions: 38mm diameter (55mm inc. crown & loop), 9mm depth