A French pocket-watch type compass, dating from c.1900-1930. Marked 'Made in France' on the compass card. Although there is no maker's mark, it is identical in design to compasses known to have been made by the French instrument maker Houlliot of Paris. The compass has an aluminium compass card, lacquered brass hunter case, bevelled glass, blued needle, transit lock, and a jewelled pivot.
Houlliot: was a French company located in the Marais district in Paris, manufacturing compasses and survey equipment from c.1870. Henri Isidore Houlliot ran the company and was succeeded by his son Albert Henri Houlliot, who continued in business until his death in 1940. Houlliot was the unnamed manufacturer of most compasses sold by major French companies like Société des Lunetiers (S-L), Vion, Secrétan, Topochaix, Huet, LAT (Les Accessoires Topographiques), Morin, etc, but he also exported his products to the USA and Russia.
The compass is in good condition and finds North well. With some signs of age and use, some wear to the original lacquered finish of the case, and a few marks.