The Boreal Arrow
Code BA12112949: Long-Neck Silver Compass by Gilbert and Wright, c. 1792
This is a nice Solid Silver compass made around 1792 by Gilbert & Wright of London. It is called a long-neck compass. This is an approximate date but can be determined according to this document from The Department of History of Science at Harvard University. The compass silver case is in excellent condition without any dings or dents. The floating dial has a very nice pattern with typically nautical design. It is graduated every 2 degrees and numbered every 10 degrees, in four quadrants, 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. It is clearly signed Gilbert & Wright, London. The dial has a jeweled brass cap at the center that rests on the pivot. Under the long neck there is a small lever that is used to activate the transit lock, which freezes the dial when the compass is not in use. This function is a must on quality compasses since it prevents undue wear to pivot and avoid breaking the jewel if the compass accidentally receives a shock. To freeze the dial the lever must be pushed. To release the dial, the lever must pulled (see pictures). The red wooden Moroccan leather covered case has blue velvet inside. It is in excellent condition without damage or any loss of leather. It has a strong hinge and functional hook to securely close the case. The compass is in excellent working order and finding North very easily. The compass is very precise and can be used as a precision instrument. The compass still has its original slightly convex glass crystal, which is in excellent condition without any scratches or chips. The length from bottom to the bow is 65mm. The diameter of the case is 49mm. The diameter of the leather case is 58mm. This is to be considered as extremely rare and has great value for the serious collector.