Antique prismatic marching compass having 1¾” diameter Singer pattern mother of pearl floating card, with cardinals and intercardinals, Singer trademark star and lyre indicating north, the centre marked with the retailer “Negretti & Zambra, London.” The outer chapter ring with reversed scale 0-360. Jewelled suspension.
Heavy brass case, with fold-up prism to lower half at 6 o’clock, unusual side-mounted suspension post and ring with transit lock at 3 o’clock, momentary bearing lock behind hinge. The outer lid with viewing port and lubber line, marked “H.T. Burbury, Barnsley,” the inner lid marked “ Var 1895 16.57 W” and “Var 1897 16.42 W.”
Condition: In very good working condition, the transit and momentary bearing locks functioning correctly, the card swinging freely, easily finding north. The floating mother of pearl dial in first rate condition, the heavy brass case interior with almost all its original oxidised finish, the outer case retaining traces. Viewing port with a few very minor marks. The hinge and prism strong and secure.
Comments: A very rare early officer’s Singer pattern prismatic marching compass, this is a high quality instrument, made by Francis Barker c1895, and retailed by Negretti & Zambra. With no broad arrow mark, this would have been a private purchase by Colonel H.T. Burbury, son of Samuel Hawksley Burbury, probably when he was a Lieutenant.
Certainly a collector’s piece, an example is illustrated on the Compass Museum site, in Compass Chronicles by Kornelia Takacs (p44), and in the Francis Barker catalogue of 1909.
Dimensions: 3″ long x 2¾” wide x ¾” deep
Stock No: SI1626