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Francis Barker Wooden Desk Compass c.1890 | Compass Library

Francis Barker Wooden Desk Compass c.1890

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A very good early example of a Francis Barker 'presentation' desk compass, dating from around 1890-1900. There is no maker's mark, but this is a well known Barker design. With a jewelled pivot, paper compass card, and a turned wooden case. This type of desk or 'presentation' compass was originally produced by Francis Barker in the 19th century, and continued in production until quite recently, with a painted aluminium case replacing the earlier wooden one. This type of compass was often presented to senior naval officers to mark a significant event or personal achievement. Details of the original model and later developments can be found in Paul Crespel's excellent book Trade Mark London.


In good condition and full working order, it finds North very well. The half-blued finish of the needle has faded over time, and there are some minor spots of surface corrosion. The glass is unmarked, and the wooden case is in good condition, with some signs of age and use.

Dimensions: 160mm diameter