Antique Compasses

50 Antique and Vintage Compasses For Sale

Compasses have been the tools at the heart of some incredible discovering, conflicts, and feats of discovery. Aesthetic in appearance, while many devices now automatically incorporate some form of compass or GPS, the humble compass is still heralded for its design. Smaller compasses make for a great memento or gift, while larger pieces can be used for striking decor and design details. Each compass will have its own story and history, from those used in times of war to those used on commercial ships or even by a boy scout in days gone by, and by purchasing an antique compass you keep a little piece of that history alive.

In this article, we’ll be looking at some of the best examples of antique compass currently for sale online.

Different Types of Compass

There are a variety of different compass types which reflect the variety of uses compasses have had throughout history. Knowing the different types of compasses can help you to narrow down your search when looking for the perfect antique compass.

  • Liquid Compass: Uses a magnetized needle or a card immersed in a fluid.
  • Marine Compass: Also known as a card compass this type of compass features a needle with a fixed compass card that is mounted in a fluid. As you may have guessed by the name, this type of compass was most commonly used on boats.
  • Prismatic Compass: This type of compass uses a glass prism or a lens.
  • Base-plate Compass: This form of compass is most commonly used for orienteering and often includes a magnifying lens and ruler for map reading.
  • Thumb Compass: A smaller version of the Base-plate compass that can be attached to the thumb.
  • Solid State Compass: These are found in electronic devices.
  • Qibla Compass: Used by Muslims to show the direction of Mecca

List of 50 Antique Compasses for Sale

We’ve scoured the internet to find an exciting list of antique compasses currently available for sale online. We’ve organized our list into convenient categories, to help you find what you’re looking for more easily.

I) Authentic Antique Compass

1. Nickel Plated Pocket Barometer Compass Compendium Retailed by Army & Navy COSL c1880

Material: Nickel
Features: Dual Concentric scaled dial. The upper part marked “Compensated,” the lower “A&N.C.O.S.L.”.
Price: $1257.09


A nickel compass used by the army and Navy Co-operative Society Ltd. Dimensions is 2¾” long x 2½” wide x 1½” deep.

Buy this compass here.


2. Georgian Gimballed Travel Compass by Gregory & Wright c1785

Material: Silver, Brass, and Card
Features: Curved crystal held within a silver-plated drum form case with two transit lock pins to a silver-plated brass base.
Price: $992.44

Georgian Gimballed Travel Compass by Gregory & Wright c1785
Turned polished fruitwood case having threaded lid lined with green felt. The bottom part has a fixed spigot has a removable two-sided fruitwood washer.

Buy this compass here.


3. Antique Explorers Singers Patent Compass by Francis Barker c1870

Material: Card, Glass, Brass
Features: Floating dry card, Suspended on red gemstone, Sealed with sealing wax.
Price: $522.68

Antique Explorers Singers Patent Compass by Francis Barker c1870
A brass compass marked with “Trade Mark London”, the dimensions given are 3″ diameter x 1″ deep.

Buy this compass here.


4. Barometer Compass Compendium by Darton c1910

Material: Silver, Blue Steel, Glass
Features: The meteorological headings “Rain”, “Change” and “Fair” are displayed within its glass well kept frame
Price: $1184.31

Barometer Compass Compendium by Darton c1910
A compass from the 1910s with dimensions given as 2¾” wide x 1¼” deep. The compass is recorded by Francis Darton & Co with various addresses in London from 1834.

Buy this compass here.


5. Antique French Brass Boat Compass (CP9)

Material: Brass with a shellac finish
Features: The compass is a small boat with the compass itself being displayed at the tip
Price: $166.37

Antique French Brass Boat Compass
A small brass boat-shaped compass dating back to the 20th century with the dimensions of 3×1.625 inches.

Buy this compass here.


6. Heavy Antique New York T.S & J.D Negus Pelorus Nautical Maritime Navigational Aid Brass Instrument Dumb Compass Wood Dovetail Box Ref 20660

Material: Wood, Brass, Metal
Features: Compass is featured in its original New York Wood Dovetail box.
Price: $1418.00

Heavy Antique New York T.S & J.D Negus Pelorus Nautical Maritime Navigational Aid Brass Instrument Dumb Compass Wood Dovetail Box Ref 20660
A compass dating back to the 1800s marked “T.S & J.D Negus” and “New York”. Dimensions given are bout 9 1/4″ tall X 11 1/2″ wide X 11 1/2″ deep.

Buy this compass here.


7. Rare Antique French Pocket Compass

Material: Nickel Plated
Features: A standard compass shell, with a blue directional pointer.
Price: $376.53


A compass dating back to the 1920s, dimensions given are 38 mm (1.5″) in diameter

Buy this compass here.


II) Antique Nautical/Maritime Compass

1. Vintage WWII Japanese Maritime Sunstar Liquid Compass W/ Original Box

Material: Wood, Card, Glass, Brass
Features: Original Box and large compass face
Price: $179.99

Vintage WWII Japanese Maritime Sunstar Liquid Compass W/ Original Box
An original Japanese World War 2 compass in its original box.

Buy this compass here.


2. Nautical Brass 1845 Dolland Marine Sundial Compass, Camping Compass Best for Gift

Material: Brass, Wood
Features: Large compass face, homemade from the 1940s
Price: $49.99

Nautical Brass 1845 Dolland Marine Sundial Compass
An original 1800s compass made from brass and wood. Dimension of the compass is Size: 4.9 x 3.5 Inches, Base Size: 6.9 x 3.9 Inches, Item Weight: 1.1 pounds.

Buy this compass here.


3. Antique Nautical Maritime Ship Navigation Compass carved wooden case patina 782

Material: Wood, Brass
Features: Dark wooden box with E, Mclain carved into the base of the lid.
Price: $189.50

Antique Nautical Maritime Ship Navigation Compass carved wooden case patina 782
A brass-made compass dating back to the 1920s, with the dimensions measuring 4.5” by 4.5” by 3.5” tall.

Buy this compass here.


4. Silver Nautical Sundial Compass with Wooden Box, Nautical Compass, Maritime Compass, Nautical Sundial, Maritime Gifts, Nautical Desk Decor

Material: Inox Metal, Glass, Wood
Features: Features a triangular design with an orange original wooden box.
Price: $262.04

Silver Nautical Sundial Compass with Wooden Box
A triangular compass dating back to the 1990s , dimensions of the compass are itself are height: 5cm, width: 12cm, depth: 12cm, length: 11cm. Dimensions of the box are height: 6cm, width: 17cm, depth: 17cm.

Buy this compass here.


III) Vintage Pocket Compass

1. Victorian Pocket Barometer Travel Compendium c1890

Material: Wood, Brass, Glass
Features: Two Compasses and Compass Box
Price: $1257.09

Victorian Pocket Barometer Travel Compendium c1890
A pair of brilliant compasses with a thermometer, the dimensions are given for this package is Dimensions: 6¼” wide x 3¾” deep x 1″ high.

Buy this compass here.


2. Antique Scouts of America Copper Compass Oath Maritime Vintage Device eagle

Material: Brass, Glass, Leather
Features: Compass is brass base with “Boy Scouts of America Compass” displayed on the lid front.
Price: $26.99


An original 1940s compass from the “Boys Scouts of America” with dimensions of weight: 0.220gm, ground diameter: 3.” Inches

Buy this compass here.


3. Antique Maritime Compasses, Japanese Ship compass, Maritime Compasses, WW2, NAVY compass, Made in Japan

Material: Metal, wood, glass
Features: Original Box and fitted compass.
Price: $800.00

Antique Maritime Compasses
An original Japanese compass from WW2 with some wear dating back to the 1900-1940s.

Buy this compass here.


IV) Antique Ship Compass

1. HUGE BEAUTIFUL IVER C WEILBACH COPENHAGEN SHIPS BOAT YACHT BINNACLE COMPASS

Material: Polished Brass, Glass
Features: The compass features an almost coffee flask design with orbs.
Price: $1199.00

HUGE BEAUTIFUL IVER C WEILBACH COPENHAGEN SHIPS BOAT YACHT BINNACLE COMPASS
A cream color compass with orbs, in an almost steampunk design.

Buy this compass here.


2. Vintage antique Sundial Nautical Compass, Home gift, Gift for Him, Nautical Christmas, Brass Sundial Compass

Material: Rosewood and Brass
Features: Multiple intricate features with clip box.
Price: $49.49

Vintage antique Sundial Nautical Compass
A well-designed brass antique vintage sundial compass.

Buy this compass here.


3. Antique Marine Ships Brass Binnacle ~ Gimbal Compass by C.Plath Hamberg with Lamp ~ Nautical Man Cave Display Piece ~ Sailing Yacht Boat

Material: Brass, Glass
Features: Brass body with glass and card compass
Price: $305.00

Antique Marine Ships Brass Binnacle
A small lamp-style design compass with a top handle. Vintage from the 1900s with the dimensions of Height 17cm, Width 22cm, Depth 19cm, and Weight 1.6kg

Buy this compass here.


4. Antique brass gimbal compass ship’s binnacle gimballed compass & wooden base good gift

Material: Brass, Wood, Glass
Features: Features a wooden bass with glass-covered compass made from brass
Price: $47.52

Antique brass gimbal compass ship's binnacle gimballed compass & wooden base good gift
A well-designed handmade vintage compass, dimensions height: 4 inches, Width: 5 inches.

Buy this compass here.


5. Antique replica brass & wooden gimbal compass 10″ ships binnacle gimballed compass father’s day gift, mother’s day gift

Material: Brass, Wood, Glass
Features: A tall compass, base made of wood, glass compass with brass fittings.
Price: $125.00

Antique replica brass & wooden gimbal compass 10" ships binnacle gimballed compass father’s day gift
A replica brass & wooden gimbal compass standing 10″ tall

Buy this compass here.


6. Original Large Wooden & Brass Binnacle Nautical Maritime Ship Compass

Material: Wooden Compass Navigation Equipment
Features: Very tall compass with wooden bass, brass cap, and glass screen for compass
Price: $3335.00

Original Large Wooden & Brass Binnacle Nautical Maritime Ship Compass
A large antique compass. High-quality metal and wood with dimensions of 32 x 57 Inch Weight: 71 Kg.

Buy this compass here.


7. Vintage Old Antique Marine Brass Ship Binnacle Magnetic Compass – Medium

Material: Brass
Features: Tall steampunk looking compass with front-facing compass
Price: $1372.52

Vintage Old Antique Marine Brass Ship Binnacle Magnetic Compass - Medium
A tall brass-made vintage old antique compass.

Buy this compass here.


8. Vintage Old Antique Marine Brass Boat Binnacle Magnetic Compass Made In Japan

Material: Brass
Features: A very large brass vintage Japanese compass.
Price: $943.30

Vintage Old Antique Marine Brass Boat Binnacle Magnetic Compass Made In Japan
A vintage antique Japanese brass compass.

Buy this compass here.


9. Brass Ship Sextant Compass with Tripod Vintage Solid Antique Nautical Sailing Maritime Marine Navy Functional Decoration Gift

Material: Brass
Features: Tall standing compass with 3 legs
Price: $98.99

Brass Ship Sextant Compass with Tripod Vintage Solid Antique Nautical Sailing Maritime Marine Navy Functional Decoration Gift
A tall brass-made vintage old antique brass compass standing on three legs with multiple features on the head.

Buy this compass here.


10. Military marine Soviet compass vintage 80s solid binnacle KM100-3 for boat yacht with a kerosene lanterns w / original wooden box

Material: Metal
Features: Double chimney compass from the Soviet Miltary
Price: $390.00

Military marine Soviet compass vintage 80s solid binnacle KM100-3 for boat yacht with a kerosene lanterns w
A vintage metal soviet compass dating back to the 1800s. With all original pieces.

Buy this compass here.


V) Antique military compass

1. Rare Vintage Soviet compass. Original. USSR

Material: Plastic, Brass, and Card
Features: Black center, yellow Headings, and Brass casing.
Price: $32.00

Rare Vintage Soviet compass
A vintage Russian compass in decent condition with a glass front and background.

Buy this compass here.


2. Vintage Military Compass 1909 Original KOMPASS ORIGINAL ANTIQUE

Material: Glass, Brass, Card
Features: Blue north pointing hand, glass cover, and brass fittings
Price: $189.00

Vintage Military Compass 1909 Original KOMPASS ORIGINAL ANTIQUE
A original vintage military compass from the 1900s.

Buy this compass here.


3. Map and compass Working compass Soviet Compass Military compass Compass with leather Made in USSR Old compass USSR compass Antique compass

Material: Metal, Plastic, Leather
Features: Leather strap, Metal Case, Plastic Cover
Price: $24.99

Map and compass Working compass Soviet Compass Military
A small but antique compass from the USSR Soviet military.

Buy this compass here.


4. Rare Aviation magnetic compass KI-11, Soviet military compass, motorboat compass, antique compass, military compass

Material: Metal, Glass
Features: Black metal with yellow heading markers.
Price: $127.50

Rare Aviation magnetic compass KI-11
A vintage dark rare original Soviet Miltary compass made from black steel with yellow markings.

Buy this compass here.


5. Old compass, military compass, USSR compass, Russian compass, a souvenir from Russia

Material: Brass, Plastic, Glass, Metal, and Leather
Features: Leather strap with glass cover, plastic features, and metal headings pointer
Price: $20.00


An old compass from the USSR Russian military with leather straps. Old but in good condition.

Buy this compass here.


6. Vintage 1940s Wrist Compass with Leather Strap Made in England

Material: Leather, glass, brass, card
Features: Leather strap, Glass cover, Brass Fittings, Card Face
Price: $95.00


An old wrist 1940s leather strap English compass. The compass is in good condition with some wear but still readable.

Buy this compass here.


7. Type 1 WWII Japanese Aircraft Compass

Material: Metal, Glass
Features: Black Steel compass with yellow readings
Price: $430.00

Type 1 WWII Japanese Aircraft Compass
A vintage 1990s Japanese world war II aircraft compass. Condition is good with some markings and wear around the base.

Buy this compass here.


8. French Military Compass, Pocket Compass, Perfect Gift

Material: Nickel-plated
Features: Nickel-Plated body with steel heading pointer, and card background.
Price: $116.86


An interesting french military pocket compass with a nickel frame. It is vintage from the 1900s.

Buy this compass here.


VI) Vintage Miniature/Novelty Compass

1. HUGE BEAUTIFUL IVER C WEILBACH COPENHAGEN SHIPS BOAT YACHT BINNACLE COMPASS

Material: Polish Brass Frame, Glass, and Plastic
Features: Cream body with red and green plastic ball handles.
Price: $1199.00

HUGE BEAUTIFUL IVER C WEILBACH COPENHAGEN SHIPS BOAT YACHT BINNACLE COMPASS
A vintage compass from a Copenhagen boat. It is a cynical compass.

Buy this compass here.


2. Vintage Marbles Arms Brass Pin-On Compass Made in the USA

Material: Brass
Features: Small brass compass with the black directional center card.
Price: $38.99

Vintage Marbles Arms Brass Pin-On Compass Made in the USA
A black card-centered heading display with brass features to hold it together. A nice small piece of compass history from the USA.

Buy this compass here.


3. Antique Miniature Novelty Silver Compass Fob

Material: Glass, Sterling Silver
Features: Silver frame in the shape of a ship steering wheel with a tiny heading display.
Price: $94.27

Antique Miniature Novelty Silver Compass Fob
A tiny antique miniature novelty silver compass with a card head.

Buy this compass here.


4. Antique Gold Plated & Agate Miniature Compass Charm Pendant, circa 1900

Material: Steel, and Silver, Gold plated
Features: Silver outer case, and miniature compass in the middle
Price: $242.62

Antique Gold Plated & Agate Miniature Compass Charm Pendant, circa 1900
A miniature compass charm pendant from the 1900s, gold plated with great charm.

Buy this compass here.


5. Antique Victorian 10ct Gold Compass Pendant/Fob

Material: Gold
Features: A miniature compass in the shape of a lantern
Price: $547.62

Antique Victorian 10ct Gold Compass Pendant
A miniature lantern-shaped antique compass pendant. It is 10ct gold and in good condition.

Buy this compass here.


6. Antique Victorian Compass Fob Pendant & Gold Chain – Bamboo Design, Engagement Present, Anniversary Gift or Wife, Bride Birthday Surprise

Material: Brass
Features: Antique Victorian compass fob pendant & gold chain
Price: $686.26

Antique Victorian Compass Fob Pendant & Gold Chain - Bamboo Design
A miniature fob pendant in the shape of bamboo with a compass center.

Buy this compass here.


7. Edwardian 9ct Gold Horseshoe Compass Pendant

Material: Gold
Features: A small gold horseshoe pendant
Price: $492.86

Edwardian 9ct Gold Horseshoe Compass Pendant
A 9ct gold horse compass pendant. The compass is in good condition and looks great.

Buy this compass here.


VII) Vintage Compass

1. Vintage Chinese Compass (CP12)

Material: “Potential Bone” with lacquer
Features: A small compass face in the center of a well-designed coin.
Price: $55.46

Vintage Chinese Compass
A very small and well-designed compass vintage Chinese coin with great close detail around the compass itself.

Buy this compass here.


2. Antique Wood Cased Compass (CP2)

Material: Wood, Plastic and Card
Features: A almost wooden wallet with the compass on the left side
Price: $180.23

Antique Wood Cased Compass
A vintage small antique wood-cased compass with the almost clear face of the compass.

Buy this compass here.


3. Nautical Maritime Sailors Compass – Brass and glass form with spinning dial style compass as opposed to spinning needle above the compass

Material: Brass, Metal, Paper, Mixed Glass
Features: A brass bass with multiple colored compass face with center brass fitting.
Price: $49.99


A brass and glass form with spinning dial style compass.

Buy this compass here.


4. Vintage Brass Compass, Nautical Compass, Compass with Wooden Box, Sun Compass, Nautical Gifts, Maritime Gifts, Nautical Decor, Desk Gifts

Material: Brass, Wood, Glass
Features: A small miniature compass, with a brass case, and a wooden “Sun Compass” box.
Price: $173.51

Vintage Brass Compass, Nautical Compass, Compass with Wooden Box, Sun Compass, Nautical Gifts, Maritime Gifts, Nautical Decor, Desk Gifts
A small brass compass with a detailed box to come with it. The compass is lightweight and well maintained with a light red face.

Buy this compass here.


5. Vintage Brass Cased Compass (CP11)

Material: Brass, steel
Features: 2.125 inches by 0.5 inches thick. Felt covering on the underside.
Price: $50.00


A 1960’s brass case compass in partially-working condition.

Buy this compass here.


6. Vintage working Compass set in real Cornish Serpentine

Material: Metal, Cornish Serpentine Glass
Features: A almost marble look to the base of a compass at the very top.
Price: $62.32

Buy this compass here.


7. Vintage working Compass set in Green Moss Agate

Material: Metal Agate
Features: A small Moss Gree Agate with a compass on top.
Price: $69.32

Vintage working Compass set in Green Moss Agate
A stunning compass made from Green Moss agate with lovely dark green, light green, and white Ivory.

Buy this compass here.


8. Antique Brass Push Button Sundial Compass with Leather Case and Chain – Push Open Compass – Steampunk Accessory – Antiquated Finish

Material: Brass, Leather, Glass
Features: A small compass in a case in brass with a sundial on top
Price: $31.49

Antique Brass Push Button Sundial Compass with Leather Case and Chain
A small vintage compass dating back to the 1940s with a leather case, brass case, and glass covering.

Buy this compass here.


9. Vintage Compass Cufflinks Antique Made in Japan

Material: Brass, Metal
Features: Clear heading face with plastic black hands and brass casing.
Price: $130.50


A couple of small brass-cased compassed with black handle and white heading face.

Buy this compass here.


10. Vintage Nickel Silver Pocket Compass (CP21)

Material: Nickel Silver, Brass and Glass
Features: Nickle Silver case with brass fittings, glass covering, and cream/white headings on the face.
Price: $131.71

Vintage Nickel Silver Pocket Compass
A small but stunning vintage pocket watch from the 1930s, this watch is in good condition made from sturdy and strong material.

Buy this compass here.


Final Thoughts

Compasses are fantastic decor pieces and can add a touch of nautical aesthetic to a space. Making for great conversation pieces, and with each item having its own fascinating history, compasses are more than just a simple object and can make great gifts too.

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