A very rare and attractive high quality Georgian short necked gilt brass compass by Abraham & Co, Liverpool in leather case c1835
A scarce, high quality, 1¼' diameter gilt brass pocket compass having enamelled card dial with hand painted cardinals, inter cardinals and false points, the upper part marked 'Abraham & Co', the lower part 'Liverpool.' Polished flat steel bar needle with jewelled suspension, highly-polished reflector ring, bevelled convex crystal. Gilt brass barrel form case with central rib, short-necked suspension post and Georgian-style bow, transit lock button. Contained within its original, dark cerise velvet and silk-lined, moroccan leather-covered case with brass keeper.
The pocket compass remaining in completely original condition, with virtually all its gilding, very slight marks to verso and losses to bow, the crystal near-perfect, the leather case modestly worn with repair to hinge, retaining a good proportion of original finish. Crisp overall.
This most attractive signed compass is very unusual, being of smaller size and having a typical Georgian bow but with a shorter suspension post. The gilding, tested as gold, may have been applied using the newly invented gold plating technique, but more likely to have been a result of the traditional amalgamation process as the cast brass bow and suspension post bear casting marks which plating would have hidden to a greater degree. Although the carat is not known, the richness of the colour would suggest 18ct gold.
In wonderful original condition, this antique pocket compass is very much a collector's piece.
Abraham & Co is recorded as working in Liverpool from 1817 to 1875. Important instrument makers, Abraham & Co exhibited at The Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in 1851. (Banfield, Barometers Makers & Retailers, 1660-1900)