A Victorian brass box, push-fit lid, pocket compass, dating from c.1890. It has an English bar needle, a jewelled pivot, transit lock, and a paper compass card. The compass has no maker's marks, but is identical to those made by Francis Barker during the late Victorian era. This design featured in many Barker catalogues until the mid 1920s. Further details of this type of Francis Barker compass design can be found in: Trade Mark London by Paul Crespel (an identical example is shown on p.106), and at the excellent trademarklondon.com website.
The compass is in very good condition, full working order, and finds North very well. The case and lid are in good condition, with some marks and signs of wear, with much of the original lacquered finish still present on the interior of the lid. The transit lock is working well. The glass is in very good condition. The paper compass card and bar needle are in very good condition.
Dimensions: 44mm diameter, 15mm depth
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.