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Stock No. PC215

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WWI Mk VIII Marching Compass by S.Mordan & Co - Click for the bigger picture

WWI Mk VIII Marching Compass by S.Mordan & Co

We are pleased to offer today a WWI Verner's pattern Mk VIII prismatic marching compass, made by the firm of Sampson Mordan and is engraved on the base 'S. Mordan & Co, 63968, 1917'. It is also stamped with the British Army War department arrow property mark. The instrument is in excellent original condition, with a jewelled bearing Mother of Pearl dry card compass and the only point to mention is a part of the paint from the compass arrow is now missing. The brass case has good age patination, and has fortunately avoided the attention of the polishing brigade over the last 101 years! The compass carries a transit lock which is engaged by the lid closure.

The anti-slip rubber ring affixed to the underside of the compass, which is often absent, remains in place and is undamaged. The compass card swings freely and locks in position although we can not guarantee its current accuracy and like all stock items is for sale as an historical collectable.

What makes this example particularly interesting is it comes complete with its original leather case and shoulder strap. This is stamped with the manufacturers details French & Son Ltd London and is dated 1916. The leather is in excellent condition, the stitching is sound and it has a great patina. The cream on the cake is it has also named to the original owner and is clearly marked R.P.Delaney, Lt, East Lancashire Regiment. Lieutenant Delaney was clearly taking no chances as he has further cut his name into the reverse side of the case. In addition we have just noticed the initials R.D. marked on the base of the instrument, so clearly the set all belongs together.

The history of this compass is it was picked up in the latter stages of WWI as a souvenir together with the trench periscope we are also listing today. It is thought both items were acquired at the same time but this is very much family hearsay. Neither have ever been offered for sale in the last 100 years and are therefore fresh to market. A good crisp original example that will sit happily in a WWI militaria or instrument collection and a fine piece of Britain's WWI history.

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