Four-Vane Surveying Compass from Warsaw

Four-Vane Surveying Compass from Warsaw

Stock Number: 8265


POLISH FOUR-VANE SURVEYING COMPASS,, finely signed on the silvered compass face "G. Gerlach w. Warszawie No. 84."


16 inches (41 cm) overall


c. second half 19th century

Country of manufacture


Categories: Scientific, Surveying Instruments & Mining, Engineering antiques


POLISH FOUR-VANE SURVEYING COMPASS, c. second half 19th century, finely signed on the silvered compass face “G. Gerlach w. Warszawie No. 84.” Measuring 16″ (41 cm) overall, this fine solidly made brass surveying compass has two folding vanes and two fixed vanes which mount from underneath. It is complete with the original carrying case and a large brass pin, but lacks the universal staff mount. Condition is very fine noting only a few spots to the original clear lacquer finish. The Gerlach firm was in business from 1816 to 1944. An 1884 catalogue proclaims G. Gerlach as the “Only Russian manufacturer of geodesic, mathematical, drawing and optical instruments,” and lists his factory at 30 Tamka St. (his home) and the store at 2 Tchistaya St., Warsaw. (Warsaw was, of course, part of Russian Poland under the tzars at the time). A rare and very fine example of a Polish instrument. (8265) $4950.

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David and Yola Coffeen both have enjoyed academic careers, as planetary astronomer and as linguist/educator. But since 1982 (yes, 1982!) they have been full-time dealers in early scientific and medical instruments, under the name Tesseract. Selling primarily by catalogue (over 100 issued so far) they also have a web presence at, and can be contacted at [email protected].

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