The Boreal Arrow
Code BA10042639: Georgian Long-Neck Hallmarked Silver Compass by Watkins, London, 1804
This is a rare Georgian Long-Neck open-face Silver compass dating from 1804 and made by Watkins, London.
"Francis Watkins was an eminent figure in his field of mathematical and optical instrument making in mid-eighteenth century London. He played an important role in one of the most significant legal cases to touch this profession, namely the patenting of the achromatic lens in telescopes. He entered into partnership with the famous Dollond firm in 1758. More on this partnership can be found in 'Francis Watkins and the Dollond Telescope Patent Controversy' book by Mr Brian Gee."
The case is sterling silver with London 1804 silver hallmarks on the back. The case is also monogramed with a nice castle above, which suggests that this compass was probably used by an officer of the British Army. The silver case is still in excellent condition without any dings or dents. The bow has a very nice design typically used in the late 1700s and early 1800s. The same design was used on pocket watches of this era as well. The compass has a porcelain dial signed WATKINS, CHARING CROSS, LONDON. It is numbered every 10 degrees and graduated in degrees. Between North and East, the numbers go from 0 to 90, than from 90 to 0 between East and South. The same pattern is repeated between South and West, and between West and North. This kind of compass is highly precise and several examples were used by the military for this reason. The porcelain dial is free of chips or hairlines. The transit lock can be activated by sliding a small lever under the long neck. The dial is covered with its original glass crystal free of chips and scratches. The compass is precise and find North easily. This is an extremely rare compass measuring 53mm in diameter (the largest long-neck compass ever seen) and 75mm from bottom to bow.