Compass Study

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    Vintage compass on a vintage map.

    My husband got me this lovely, palm-sized vintage compass at a ship salvage shop and antique dealer in Bangladesh.

    The walnut-toned wood box has a metal label reading "Negretti & Zambra, as does the compass itself, both on the cover, and under the glass on the rose's face. The outside of the compass lid reads "Edward VII Compass King & Emporer 1908". The date, 1908, and the word, "London" is inscribed on the compass rose under the glass. The compass has a fob, as well as a sliding knob to lock the floating needle in place when not in use.

    The poem, Robert Frost's "The Road Less Taken" has been engraved on brass-toned metal and appears to have been attached to the inside cover. This poem dates to 1915 and was not really considered a classic until the mid-1920s. I'm assuming that the inscription was added later, particularly because the font-styles are more modern.

    My husband isn't sure if the compass actually dates to 1908. Negretti & Zambra manufactured compasses, telescopes, monocules, barameters and other scientific items during this time period, but I was unable to find a similar compass style during a fairly comprehensive Internet search.

    If you know anything about vintage compasses, please leave a comment. No matter whether this is a reproduction or an actual antique, it is still a wonderful addition to my collection of cartography and geographic ephemera.

    Picture Books, Miguel Vera, and 103 other people added this photo to their favorites.

    View 20 more comments

    1. AdamLeggottCIW 34 months ago | reply

      Great image - used on homepage - slightly modified. Credited at foot of page.

    2. RTaminato 33 months ago | reply

      Bonita foto ... gostei :)

    3. RansackedMuse 22 months ago | reply

      Beautiful photo! Thanks for making it available for use. I plan on using it in a technical presentation I will be giving this summer. It will represent the topic of system navigation. Do I need to cite your name in the presentation? Thanks!

    4. 21 months ago | reply

      Thank you for sharing this photo. We have used it in Europe Quiz, as an illustration to "In which country lies the southernmost point of mainland Europe?". The attribution is provided.

    5. chileanfighterkites 21 months ago | reply

      Thank you for sharing this photo. We have used it in a brochure for a nonprofit board training coming this fall. We have attributed your name as the source.

    6. Lovely In Dirt 21 months ago | reply

      Thank you for posting your photo as a Creative Commons image. I used it in an article about Modern Adventurers.

    7. AnnHBY 20 months ago | reply

      Thankyou for making this photo available for use. I plan to use it in a blog post around decision making, and becoming aware of our 'internal compass'. I will credit you in the blog too! Thankyou :)

    8. isabeljuno 18 months ago | reply

      Beautiful photo. I used part of the compass. Many thanks!!
      See image here

    9. alexclark82 16 months ago | reply

      Thank you for this amazing photo! I used it in my post here (with all the credits, of course):

    10. Lexicolatry 14 months ago | reply

      Lovely picture - I used it to illustrate the word 'cartography' on my blog here:

    11. theambercompass 14 months ago | reply

      I have used this lovely photo as a blog header image: Thank you so much for making it available!

    12. hannahcadabra 13 months ago | reply


      I would like to use your image to advertise a Treasure hunt at the Barnaby Festival in Macclesfield this year. We will credit your image. It's a fab compass pic.

      Thank you,


    13. kevinjaquith2 13 months ago | reply

      I will be using this image on my personal blog for an upcoming post, thank you for making this available.

    14. DavidHart 11 months ago | reply

      Thanks so much for sharing your photo! We've used it in our Nonprofit Marketing Bundle and included a credit in the PDF. It's a great shot!

    15. webweisend media company 2 months ago | reply

      Thanks for sharing this photo via CreativeCommons! It was just perfect for our media company blog -

    16. venk.supriya 2 weeks ago | reply

      Thanks for allowing the use of your image through a Creative Commons Licence – I’ve used it in my blog @ with attribution. Much Gratitude!

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