A Community Devoted to the Preservation and Practice of Celestial Navigation and Other Methods of Traditional Wayfinding
From: David Harrison
Date: 2020 Nov 29, 18:45 -0800
Cheers again Geoffrey,
Yes near on most of that was forwarded on to me.
I'll assume you've read up a bit now on Bagnold knowing he developed his compass prior to the war & probably early as 1927-29 since it was used on his early expeditions.
Obviously the vehicle mounted Compass won the day over the handheld one during those early expeditions. I would hazard a guess that this handheld compass was handed to the Royal Geographic society back when he handed over the other scientific equipment he borrowed from them, hence it was given a "RGS No 1" as engraved on it, similar to the inclinometer which was RGS No 9 he used. They apparently had a clear out/auction of items in the 90's & they assume that's how this item got into private hands, The person (deceased) who's family it was later bought from in a large Estate clearance also had several other scientific pieces of equipment.
it would be great if Bagnolds grandson found some drawings of it amongst the family files, but I'm not holding my breath, I have searched the papers held by the Churchill centre in Cambridge online, maybe after Covid I can physically search, I don't suppose anyone as seen design drawings of his vehicle mounted compass either, but the replicas bring a large payment, one currently on e bay with bids at £800.
It's a very interesting item & shouldn't be dismissed just because it's not known or nobody as seen one, guess it's like long lost art when it appears everybody screams fake till they have a good look at it, that's why I'm trying to find out as much as I can to give it more provenance.