Rare English antique brass pocket compass comprising 2¾” floating quadrant card with nautical pattern, displaying cardinals and intercardinals, fleur-de-lys to North and decorated East point. Marked to centre by the maker “Spencer & Co, 111 Minories, 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 a small area of abrasion to its extremity, 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 almanac dated 1845. This date does not confirm the date of manufacture – almanacs were issued annually – but it does suggest a date close to this confirmed by the style and execution of the making. The lid and lower part of case both hand-marked to inside with the owner’s name “H. Burrell.”
The highly respected maker, Spencer Browning & Co, worked at 111 Minories from 1840-1873.
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: SI0933