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Thomas Cornelius Sargent probably provided this compass to a visiting German sailing ship between 1856 and 1860.

In the 1800s, compass sellers and adjusters commonly placed their own paper labels over the center of the compass card or dial. However, it is very unusual to find an English instrument dealer label affixed to an early German maker's card.

Here is a c.1850 German dry card compass bearing the label of T.C. Sargent, Thames St. Commercial Docks London. The 6.5-inch card is printed with the cardinal points of N,S,O and W for Nord, Sud, Ost and West. Thomas Cornelius Sargent probably provided this compass to a visiting German sailing ship between 1856 and 1860.

When I acquired this instrument, it had no box or mounting. I decided to mount it as a period binnacle compass. I used the original gimbal ring, and a pair of old brass legs. I set the compass on a 10 by 13.5-inch section of teak grating recovered from a shipwreck many years ago. I have cleaned the brass and copper compass bowl and ring, and oiled the teak. The unit stands about 8 inches tall. I think it makes an impressive presentation.

 
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