A very small brass cased compass with a hinged cover and ring to hang it from a fob chain.
The compass has a finger-nail indentation to open the lid and bevelled glass held in place by a brass ring. The needle pivots on a red gemstone. The top half of the dial is black with the bottom white. The maker’s name of F. Barker & Son. London is written to the bottom half.
Francis Barker established his company in 1846 after serving an apprenticeship with J&G Simms, taking over the company in 1855 when both Simms brothers had died. Barker’s workshops were in Clerkenwell and his business was very successful, continuing after his death in 1875, to well into the 20th century.
With a diameter of three quarters of an inch, this compass is tiny but there has been no reduction in the quality of the work to the size of the instrument. It is very well made, with the lid still a tight fit and the case retaining much of its blacking. Circa 1910.