Lodestone mounted in a brass frame with suspension ring on top. With two pieces of steel at the bottom to increase the magnetic strength of the lodestone. French lilies on all sides.
Royal Museum Greenwich: The lodestone, made from a piece of magnetite, which is naturally magnetic, was vital in the early centuries of navigation to ensure that the ship’s compass worked properly. Until the mid-18th century, when improved compasses were developed, compass needles lost their magnetism quite quickly and had to be re-magnetised by stroking a lodestone along the needle’s length.
HWL: 68x71x53 mm, overall height with ring 130 mm
Signed: not signed
Origin: probably French
Condition: in excellent and working condition, wear consistent with age and use
See also www.archipel-img.com for more
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Welcome to the catalogue of Archipel International Maritime Gallery, specialist in nautical antiques and collectables.
Archipel International Maritime Galery in the Netherlands, sets itself to maritime objects, globes and sea charts of before 1900. The managing director worked as officer with the mercantile marine and the Royal Navy. As curator he was connected to one of the University Museums in the Netherlands. As seaman and curator he has a lot of knowledge of naval history. The entire Archipel collection can be found at the site Archipel-img.com.