A brass Hunter cased, Francis Barker & Son pocket compass, dating from c.1890-1926. Although there are no maker's marks visible, this compass is the 'Improved Colonial, No. 3014' compass which was made by Barker and featured in many Barker catalogues from the 1890s until the mid 1920s. This one is unusual in that it has a glass window with an engraved sighting line in the lid, features not normally seen in this compass. Further details of this Barker compass design can be found in: Trade Mark London (p.236) by Paul Crespel, and at the trademarklondon.com website. It also features in Kornelia Takac's book Compass Chronicles on p.68.
The compass is in very good condition, full working order and finds North very well. The case is in very good condition with the original blackened finish in excellent condition. The dial glass is in very good condition. The lid glass has a crack, which is stable and secure, and I have left it in place to preserve the originality of the compass. (A new spare glass of the correct size will be included, in case you prefer to replace the original). The hand drawn paper compass card is in very good condition. The pointer is an English Bar Needle with a jewelled cap. The original transit lock is present and fully functional. The lid itself is a very good fit, closing with a good firm snap.
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.