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Francis Barker Shallow Hunter Pocket Compass c.1890

Francis Barker 'Shallow Hunter' Pocket Compass

Price £165.00 Sale

A rare Francis Barker 'Shallow Hunter’ brass cased compass, manufactured c.1890 to 1905. Although it does not have the distinctive 'TML' Barker trademark, the design was registered by Barker and was exclusive to that firm. Most of these compasses were supplied by Barker unsigned to the retail trade. This one is simply marked 'England' on the dial. The design was known as a 'Shallow Hunter' because of the exceptionally slim case, which is only 10mm thick. It has a distinctive milled crown, English bar needle, jewelled pivot, and an automatic transit lock. At only 38mm diameter this is an unusually small version of the shallow hunter: most of these compasses were made in the larger 50mm size.

This compass has an engraved inscription on the lid: 'Insp. Isherwood from D. O. Goldsmith, 27/10/40'. Presumably 'Insp. Isherwood' was a Police Officer, who received the compass as a gift during WW2. Further information on this type of compass can be found on p.182 of Paul Crespel's excellent book, Trade Mark London, at


The compass is in very good condition and finds North well. The push button crown opens the case and it shuts just as it should. The transit lock is present and working. The original glass is in very good condition. The aluminium compass card is in excellent condition. The case is in good condition, with some wear to the original gunmetal coloured oxidised finish. The oxidised finish inside the lid is in excellent condition.

Dimensions: 38mm diameter (50mm inc. crown & loop), 10mm depth