The Boreal Arrow
Code BA12121362: Solid Silver Hunter Cased Compass, 1913
This is a rare presentation compass made by Aaron Lufkin Dennison in 1913. It was offered as a Christmas gift in 1915 for J.H. HETHERINGTON by his colleagues in AGAR, CROSS and Co. in BUENOS AIRES. The case is made of solid silver and has several silver hallmarks: The maker's initials are A.L.D. The lion mark indicates that it is Sterling Silver. It has a tight bow also marked with the lion mark. The letter O corresponds to the year 1913. It is also marked with serial number 59046 A. There are hallmarks: inside the front lid, on the ring and on the pendant. The case is still in excellent condition with only normal signs of use. No damage. When the button is pushed the front lid springs open to a right angle. Bevelled glass crystal is in excellent condition. The compass has a nice floating dial. 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). The dial has a jewelled brass cap. In full working order and finding North precisely, with strong hinge including the transit lock. Size 35mm in diameter (size of a coin holder) excluding the ring. Quality and rare compass.
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.