The Boreal Arrow
Code BA23112501: Rare Hunter's Patent Compass, c. 1862
| This is an extremely rare compass made c. 1862 by Hugh W. Hunter, who was a prominent optician, manufacturer, and importer of optical and mathematical instruments operating in New York. The case is made of brass and still in its original condition with a nice patina that formed over the years. The back of case is engraved:
PATENTED MAY 6, 1862
H. W. HUNTER
It has a brass cover that closes as it should without any problem. The mother-of-pearl dial is a real beauty and is rich in colours when exposed to light. It is signed HUNTER'S PATENT. It is in excellent condition without any damage or loss to the black painting. The dial can be locked by sliding a small knob located on the side of the case. The compass has also a push button under the bow. This button is connected to a spring and when is pushed the spring touches the dial and acts as a braking system. This is useful to limit the swinging of the dial to find North more quickly. The floating dial has a brass jewelled cap and is covered with flat glass crystal free of chips or scratches. The compass is in excellent working order and finds North without any problem. The compass measures approximately 42mm in diameter. Throughout all my years of collection, I've been able to see only two other examples in The Compass Chronicles book. It seems that these compasses were produced in very limited numbers. This example has the serial number 28. The same serial number is also engraved inside the front lid. Given the similarity between the two patents, it is not clear if Hunter was inspired by the Singer's patent, especially that it was issued only a year after.