The Boreal Arrow 

Code BA11013033: Antique Late 18thC Long-Neck Leather-Cased T. Blunt Cornhill London Pocket Compass


This is a stunning long-neck pocket compass made by Thomas Blunt between 1793 and 1805. Thomas Blunt started in the business of instrument making as apprentice of Edward Nairne in London. They became partners afterward from 1775 to 1793. After 1793 Blunt continued making instruments with T. Blunt, Cornhill, London as signature. In 1805, his son joined the business and the signature of their instruments became T. Blunt & Son or T. & T. Blunt.  This is why this compass was made between 1793 and 1805.  "(Blunt)....was an instrument maker of distinction:  he was associated with the Portuguese scientist J. H. de Magellan and devised some of the features of Magellan's 'New Barometer'....."  (Goodison), as quoted from Ray Giordano's The Antiquarian Scientist, Catalog 10.


This long-neck compass is in excellent condition. The case is tested 14K Gold Plated and in excellent condition. No dings, dents or scratches. Only some loss of the gold plate around the neck and ring. The original slightly domed glass crystal is in excellent condition without chips or scratches. The enamel dial is a real beauty with detailed information and signed T. Blunt, Cornhill, London. It has a unique design with graduation every 1 degree and numerals in quadrants every 10 degrees, starting from 0 to 90 from North to East, then decreasing from 90 to 0 from East to South. The same pattern is repeated between North and West and between West and South. Very likely to be a military compass. The red wooden Moroccan leather covered case is cushioned and fabric lined to the inner lid. It is in very good condition with strong hinge and functional hooks to securely close the case. It has some wear, which is to be expected after more than 200 years. The compass has a quality jeweled cap with a bar needle. It is in excellent working order and finding North very easily. Under the long neck there is a small lever acting as a transit lock, lifting the brass disc located under pivot to avoid any contact with the pin. The length from bottom to the bow is 74mm. The diameter of the dial is 52mm. This is a large compass compared to other compasses. This is to be considered as extremely rare and has great value for the serious collector.