A Hunter cased, nickel-plated brass, Francis Barker & Son pocket compass, dating from c.1890-1910. The compass card is marked with the distinctive Barker 'Trade Mark London' mark at the North point. The compass features an aluminium compass card with red 'N' marker, agate jewelled pivot, automatic 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.
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 good condition, working order, and finds north well. There is some wear to the original nickel plated finish of the case. There is also some wear to the edge of the lid, but it still closes with a good, firm snap. The compass card and original glass are in good condition.