Gimbaled Compass in Case, mid 18th C
Probably Italian gimbaled compassin original case, mid-18th Century. Made of substantial brass 21cm overall, it has a decoratively shaped support arm, mounting hole, and twin gimbal rings maintaining the compass always in the horizontal. The compass itself is set in a weighted brass bowl and features brass scribed with north line, fine arrow-shaped needle with glass hub, and central brass needle lifter activated by thumbscrew below. Condition is very fine thourhout, complete with its splendid carved wood fitted case with hinged lid. The case follows the shape of the compass, fits wonderfully in the hand, and sits stably on its two flat base areas. Although the fully gimbaled design suggest nautical use, it perhaps was made for surveying in mountainous terrain or in mines. The Whipple Collection in Cambridge also have one in their collection. Measurements case 22,5 x 9,5 x 5 cm.