The Boreal Arrow
Code BA12012674: F. Barker & Son Compass, c. 1920
This is a rare WW1 era antique pocket compass made by F. Barker & Son around 1920. On this model the maker used a quality case made by Dennison as many other quality makers such as Dollond and J. H Steward. Inside front lid it has the typical Dennison cases serial number 204798 W. The case is Nickel plated and in excellent condition without dings or dents. The compass has a thick glass crystal in excellent condition without chips or cracks. Next to the crystal engraved the last four digits of the serial number (4798). The dial is a variant of the Singer patent. It is marked ENGLAND REG. 416645. The British National Archives (South-West London) gave the following information: "The design no. 416645 was published on page 1318 of the Official Journal of patents dated 30th September 1903, covering designs registered in the week ending 17th September 1903. The owners were Francis Barker & Son, of 12 Clerkenwell Rd, London WC" (text from the Compass Museum). In full working order, with strong hinge including the transit lock. This particular model is very hard to find and especially in this condition. Size 4.7cm diameter.
The case maker was Aaron Lufkin Dennison of Birmingham UK, he manufactured watch cases from late 1874 at 24 Villa Road, Handsworth UK. As part of the war effort he diversified into compass cases. He was originally the Managing Director of the American Waltham Watch Company in the USA, where he made the very first watch with interchangeable parts and produced watches of Railway quality. He was known as the Founding Father of the American Watch Making Industry.