Antique travel compass having 1¾” dry card floating dial with nautical pattern quadrant rose marked with cardinals and intercardinals, fleur-de-lys representing North and decorated East cardinal, divided to 2 degrees increments. Curved crystal held within a brass drum form case with two transit lock pins to base.
Turned polished boxwood case having threaded lid lined with dark blue felt. Bottom part with fixed spigot and marked “nu/-,” having removable two-sided boxwood washer, one side flat and bearing inscription: “D Kitchener from B Davenport Esq, Hampstead, Oct 1826,” the other with turned groove. The case outer with turned decoration to top and side.
This antique compass has three stages of use. When the washer is in place with the flat side uppermost, the twin transit pins are activated, locking the compass card for transit. When the grooved side is uppermost, the transit pins are free and thus the card can swing freely. When the washer is removed entirely, the compass is then gimballed on the spigot and can be read at some degree of heel.
In excellent condition, the card swinging freely and finding north easily. The original glass free of chips and scratches, the transit lock working correctly. The outer boxwood case with little signs of wear, the thread to the lid worn with age.
Burrage Davenport II (1778-1863), also known as Burridge Davenport, son of the very respected silversmith of the same name, lived in one of the two best addresses in Church Row in Hampstead at the time. He married Hannah Kitchener of Rustington, Sussex, in 1803, and he and his wife were friends of Keats. We’ve not yet tracked down “D Kitchener,” but, given the dates, he’s presumably Hannah’s nephew or cousin.
A rare and very attractive antique compass, this is certainly a collector’s piece.
Dimensions: 2½” diameter x 2″ high
Stock No: SI0878