Spencer & Co Compass_9a
Spencer & Co Compass_10a
Spencer & Co Compass_12
Spencer & Co Compass_2

A rare and exceptionally fine brass mariners or explorers nautical pattern pocket compass by Spencer Browning & Co, No 66 Wapping, London c1840

Rare English antique brass pocket compass comprising 2¾” floating quadrant card with nautical pattern, fleur-de-lys to North and decorated East point. Marked to centre by the maker “Spencer & Co, No 66 Wapping, London.” Heavy card suspended on brass pivot, the verso with magnetic bar affixed with twin iron rivets, wax balancing.

Original crystal maintained with putty in a finely scalloped and engine turned bezel, spun drum-form case with semi-circular thumb relief affording easy removal of crystal and bezel for de-misting. Well executed outer case, the lower part of low plain form, the lid relieved longitudinally with finely detailed and engine turned rim.

An unusually large, exceptionally fine example. It is rare to find both upper and lower parts to the outer case – mostly these are missing. The outer case in crisp, slightly worn though essentially undamaged condition, the crystal with original casting flaws, the card remaining straight and crisp, finding north easily. It is noteworthy that these cards were almost all manufactured from re-cycled documents such as sales ledgers, in this case a nautical chart.

The highly respected maker, Spencer Browning & Co, worked at 66 Wapping from c1817 to 1840. This compass is near identical to the example previously sold on this site, carrying the address 111 Minories, and dating to c1845, so helping to place this piece to the latter part of the company’s presence at the Wapping address.

A truly wonderful antique compass from this sought after maker, exceptionally rare in its size, completeness and condition. Inspected, checked and conserved, certainly a lot for the compass collector and connoisseur alike.

Dimensions: 3¼” diameter x 1¼” deep

Stock No: SI2525

Price: £595