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W. Gregory & Co. British Army Marching Compass 1900

W. Gregory & Co. British Army Marching Compass c.1900

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An excellent example of an English military marching compass dating from c.1893-1904. This is a very rare and unusual design, I have only seen one other example. The 'W', 'E' and 'S' markings on the glass and the red War Office broad arrow or 'crow's foot' mark at the North point on the compass card are features that mark this out as a particularly rare compass. The hand drawn paper compass card bears the maker's name: 'W. Gregory & Co, 51 Strand, London'. William Gregory was a notable military photographer and optician who worked from this address from 1893 until his death in 1904. The company continued in business there as Gregory & Seeley until the 1920s. The broad arrow marking and Gregory's association with the British Army strongly suggests that this compass was intended for military use, most probably during the Boer War. As Gregory died in 1904, it is reasonable to assume that the compass was made around the turn of the century. The compass has a hand-drawn paper card, with a red broad arrow at the north point, a jewelled pivot, and a brass hunter case. There is an automatic transit lock which engages when the lid is in place. There would have been a paper sighting marker attached to the inside of the lid, but this is no longer present.

 

Condition:

The compass is in very good condition and finds north well. The automatic transit lock is working perfectly. The compass card is in very good condition. The original glass is in very good condition. The brass case is in good condition, with a few marks and minor signs of age and wear.

Dimensions: 47mm diameter (excluding loop, 70mm including loop)