A Victorian mahogany cased pocket compass, made by Francis Barker. Although there are no maker's marks on the compass, the compass card design, 'hidden' hinges and '7' shaped clasp are all characteristic Barker design features. The compass has a hand-drawn floating compass card, a brass pivot, and a transit lock operated when the lid is closed.
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-Optics. 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 full working order. It finds north well. The hand-drawn compass card is in very good condition. There is a transit lock operated by a small pin which locks the needle when the lid is closed. The wooden case is in very good condition, with a lovely patina, strong hinges and '7' shaped clasp.