Hennequin Compass No 440 SI1110
Hennequin Compass No 440 SI1110

A very good French pocket sighting compass with clinometer by Hennequin No 440 c1895

Pocket compass having 1¾” engine divided, polished and engraved compass ring, 0° – 360°, and 360° – 0°, between two bevelled glass crystals, the lower crystal with hand-painted red cardinals and arrow indicating magnetic north, the upper crystal with lubber line. Needle with blued end indicating north suspended on jewelled pivot. Swinging brass clinometer hand. Lacquered brass case with rotating bezel fitted with two sighting vanes, one with fine cross hairs, and turning post. Case with side-mounted transit lock and momentary brake. Suspension post and ring. The underside of compass ring marked “Hennequin,” “BSGDG” and serial “No. 440.”

Housed in its original square leather over timber, green watered silk and velvet lined case. Button release on snap closure on a button release. The inner lid silk with retailers details in gold block, “Mon Loiseau, Boucart Seur, 35 Quai de l’Horloge, Paris.”

Condition: In very good original condition, the needle swinging freely and finding north easily, the rotating bezel, transit lock and momentary brake working correctly. The crystals with a very few light marks, the compass ring with faint signs of ageing. The brass case retaining almost all its original lacquered finish. The travel case sound, the exterior with some signs of wear, the lining fabrics crisp and vibrant.

Comments: Frédéric Hennequin was an engraver and designer based in the French War Department, who patented at least two compasses, a compass-protractor c1875 and this pocket sighting compass c1890. The highest serial number thus seen being 537, these relatively rare instruments were manufactured by Boucart, a well-respected Parisian precision instrument maker working between 1892 and 1901.

A very attractive compass, and certainly one for the collector.

Breveté SGDG was a French type of patent instituted in 1844 that ceased to exist in 1968. The name was a common abbreviation for “Breveté Sans Garantie Du Gouvernement“ (patent without government guarantees).

Dimensions: Compass - 2" diameter; Travel Case - 2½" wide x 2½" deep x 1⅛" high

Stock No: SI1110

Price: £375