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Antique Transparent Pocket Compass | Made in England

English Transparent Pocket Compass

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A very unusual transparent pocket 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. In J. H. Steward catalogues of the time they were described as 'An excellent horseback compass, and if held above the head the needle can be seen at night time against the sky. If laid on a map, being transparent, the direction of roads can readily be seen'. But Barker's designs were rather different and all featured an English bar needle, wheras this compass has a blued needle of the kind often seen in Victorian compasses c.1870-1900. The compass case is either nickel-plated brass or aluminium, with a black painted exterior finish. On one side the glass is bevelled, the other side is flat.


The compass is in good condition and finds North very well. There is some corrosion visible on the needle.

Dimensions : 37mm (53mm including loop)