Watson & Sons Compass SI1304
Watson & Sons Compass SI1304

A very large and high quality 3″ diameter open faced travel compass by Francis Barker for W. Watson & Sons, London c1885

Antique pocket compass having 2¾” diameter silvered dial with hand decorated 32 point rose displaying cardinals, intercardinals, false points and by points, fleur de lys indicating north. Outer quadrant scale, 0°-90°-0°-90°, divided to 1°. Dial further marked with the retailer’s details, “W. Watson & Sons, 313 High Holborn, London.”

Fine steel bar needle with counterweight suspended on jewelled pivot. Flat crystal held in oxidised brass bezel. Lacquered brass drum form spun case, extension post and bow.

Together with its original fine black leather covered square pocket travel case with push tab closure.

Condition: In very good original condition, the silvered dial with minor marks, the crystal with a few faint scratches. The counter-balanced bar needle swinging freely and finding north easily. The brass case retaining practically all its original lacquered finish. The travel case in sound condition, the leather retaining much of its original gloss finish.

Comments: The first example of such a large open faced compass that we have seen, this was almost certainly a special order or short production run, as demonstrated by the counter-balanced bar needle, and although unsigned was made by Francis Barker for retail by William Watson & Sons (a Barker-signed similar size clinometer compass with identical leather case is known).

Extremely rare in this size, this is a very good antique pocket compass, and one for the collector and connoisseur alike.

Dimensions: 3½" wide x 3½" long x 1⅛" deep

Stock No: SI2304

Price: SOLD