Mariner's compas, c 1775.
© Science Museum / Science & Society Picture Library
Compas made by Joseph Roux of Marseilles. This type of compas was used in the Mediterranean during the 18th century. It consists of a simple card compas in a wooden bowl, which appears to bear the remnants of gimbal fittings. The 'lubber line' is painted on the inside of the bowl and the magnet is on the underside of the card. The card is offset for the local variation appropriate for 1775 and marked with symbols for the names of the local winds. These are: Greco (NE), Sirocco (SE), Ostro (S), Libeccio (SW), Penete (W), and Maestro (NW).