A Hunter cased, nickel-plated brass, Francis Barker & Son pocket compass, dating from c.1890-1910. The compass card is marked 'F. Barker & Son, Makers London'. The compass features an aluminium compass card with red 'N' marker, agate jewelled pivot, transit lock and English bar needle. Most of the compasses of this design that were made by Barker were unsigned and were sold to other companies, who signed and sold them as their own products. Francis Barker & Son confined their activities mainly to wholesale supply to retailers, and it is quite rare to find an example of this type of compass bearing the Barker signature. Further details of this type of compass can be found at Paul Crepsel's excellent trademarklondon.com, and also in his book Trade Mark London (p.120).
Francis Barker & Son: were established in London in 1848, as a maker of compasses and scientific instruments. Francis Barker produced a very wide range of compass designs over the years, supplying major retailers such as Negretti & Zambra, J. Lizars, C. W. Dixey, Dollond, and many others. The company prospered until 1932, when it was taken over and became F. Barker & Son (1932). After WW2 the company changed hands several times and the name is now carried by Pyser-SGI. They continue to produce the renowned Barker M-73, widely acknowledged to be the world's finest prismatic compass.
The compass is in very good condition and finds north well. The nickel plated brass case, aluminium compass card, and original glass are all in very good condition.