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W. Gregory & Co. Pocket Compass c.1895

W. Gregory & Co. Pocket Compass c.1895

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An excellent example of an English hunter cased pocket compass dating from c.1893-1904. The compass card is marked: 'W. Gregory & Co. Ltd, 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. As Gregory died in 1904, this compass must have been made between 1893 and 1904, probably by one of the best London makers, such as Francis Barker. Gregory was not a compass maker, and would have bought items such as this wholesale from makers like Barker, signing them with his own company name, before selling them in his shop.

The compass has a hand-drawn paper card, an English Bar Needle, a jewelled pivot, and a brass hunter case. There is an automatic transit lock which engages when the lid is closed. The compass would originally have had an 'oxidised' or bronzed finish: most of this finish has worn away from the exterior, but is perfectly preserved inside the lid.


The compass is in very good condition and finds north well. The automatic transit lock is working well. The compass card is in very good condition. The original glass is in good condition, with a little dust underneath. The brass case has some marks and general signs of age and wear.

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