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Reportedly the First Marked W.J. Young Surveyor's Compass

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Clocks, Watches & Scientific Instruments - 3230M
Date / Time :
April 12, 2019 10:00AM


Reportedly the First Marked W.J. Young Surveyor's Compass, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, c. 1825, lacquered brass instrument with 6-in. dia. engraved dial reading "W.J. Young Maker/Philada," eight-point line rose with fleur-de-lis representing north, blued-steel needle with needle lifter on underside, and sighting vanes.

Note: When this compass was purchased at a flea market outside Philadelphia, the seller claimed it came from the Young shop in Philadelphia where it was on display and was marked "First compass made by William J Young." It is clearly not the first compass made by Young since he made many while working for Thomas Whitney, but could easily be the first compass he made after starting a business under his own name in 1825. Supporting the claim for this being W.J. Young's first compass under his own company is that the style of the engraving is different from that used when he was employed at Whitney. Instruments made from 1825 to 1840 were marked "W.J. Young maker," after 1840 "Wm. J. Young," and then with various names until 1917, when it was "Young & Sons Inc." K&E purchased the assets of Young & Sons Inc. in 1917/18 and closed all Philadelphia operations by 1923.
Estimate $600-800

sighting vane has one new screw the other lacking screw. Also comes with one new sighting vane

Items may have wear and tear, imperfections, or the effects of aging. Any condition statement given, as a courtesy to a client, is only an opinion and should not be treated as a statement of fact. Skinner shall have no responsibility for any error or omission.


Philadelphia, Art genres, Blued, Circumferentor, Compass, Fleur-de-lis, Measuring instruments, Qibla compass, Visual arts