A rare antique travel compass having nautical pattern dial in fruitwood case by Gregory & Wright, London c1785

Georgian Gimballed Travel Compass by Gregory & Wright c1785


Antique travel compass having 1¾” hand drawn dry card floating dial with nautical pattern quadrant rose marked with cardinals and intercardinals, fleur-de-lys representing North, divided to 2 degrees increments, on a jewelled bearing surrounded by the makers’ details, “Gregory & Wright, London.” Curved crystal held within a silver-plated drum form case with two transit lock pins to silver-plated brass base.

Turned polished fruitwood case having threaded lid lined with green felt. Bottom part with fixed spigot, having removable two-sided fruitwood washer. The case outer with turned decoration to top.

This antique compass has two stages of use. When the washer is in place, the twin transit pins are activated, locking the compass card for transit. 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 fruitwood case with little signs of wear.

A rare and very attractive antique compass, this is certainly a collector’s piece.

Henry Gregory and Gabriel Wright were in partnership from 1782 until 1790, based at Navigation Warehouse, 148 Leadenhall Street, London (see Gloria Clifton’s Directory of British Scientific Instrument Makers, 1550-1851).

Dimensions: 2½” diameter x 2¼” high

Stock No: SI1048

Price: £750

Image of Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785 showing gimbal mechanism
Image of disassembled Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785 showing compass from lefthand side
Image of disassembled Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785 showing compass from front
Close up of wooden box for Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785
Image of Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785
Image of Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785 without wood case
Image of disassembled Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785
Image of card from Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785
Image of back of card from Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785
Image of dial of Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785
Close up of card from Gregory & Wright Gimballed Mariners Compass c1785





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