Circa 1820


An early and rare bearing compass fitted to take sun azimuth bearings. Signed on the center of the compass card "Blunt New York" (G.W. Blunt, American, fl. 1811-1872) and under the center nut "U.S. Navy". Card engraved on light blue/green paper and divided with elaborately decorated points, the north point with engraved signature "William Hooker", who was the compass maker's son-in-law. The outer bezel (circumference) of the compass card has an engraved silver scale, divided in degrees, which holds the card in place. The dry compass card rotates on an agate or sapphire "jewel" set within a brass bowl that sits in a gimbaled ring and mounted to a dovetailed wood box with triangular feet. Mounted to one side of the top of the bowl is a flip-up black oxidized sight that can be adjusted vertically. The sight is fitted with a prism allowing the silver scale to be viewed simultaneously with the sun or other object whose bearing is being taken. In addition there are red and green hinged filters that can be swung in or out of view. Opposite the sight is a flip-up brass framed sighting line with a hinged filter that slides up or down as needed.
Compass diameter 9". Box height 10". Width 12". Depth 12".
Condition: Overall excellent condition. The compass card has a couple of pin holes, possibly from the card jumping the pin.

The absence of a condition report does not imply an object is free of defects. All items may have normal signs of age and wear commensurate with their age; these issues will likely not be mentioned in the condition report. Please contact Eldred's before the auction with any condition questions. Questions about condition will not be answered after purchase. Condition reports are provided as a courtesy, and we are not responsible for any errors or omissions. Important note on frames: Frames are not guaranteed to be in the same condition as they are in the item photograph. Due to handling and shipping, many frames, especially antique ones, are prone to losses. If you have questions about the condition of a frame, please contact us prior to the auction. 

  • Provenance:
    Hyland Granby Antiques, Hyannis Port, Massachusetts, 2000.
    The Kelton Collection of Marine Art & Artifacts.

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March 1, 2023 9:30 AM EST
East Dennis, MA, US


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