Compasses are extremely practical orientation tools for adventure lovers. Whether you use them at sea or on land, they are sure to be one of the most valuable instruments in your bag.
You can use a compass on its own or combine it with the information a map can give you to get your bearings. If you know how to use a compass properly, you will reach your destination quickly. You should know that although it seems complicated, it is easier than you think.
History of the compass
This fabulous orientation instrument was invented by the Chinese in the 9th century. Although it was originally just a magnetic needle immersed in a bowl of water. This first prototype of a compass can be easily built and is extremely efficient.
Later the water pot was replaced by a rotating shaft, giving this instrument a more mechanical character. A compass rose was added to it to serve as a guide for calculating the directions to and from the destination.
Before the compass, the human being had to orientate himself by means of the movement of the stars. For the sailors of that time, the North Star was their only compass. On cloudy or stormy days this method of orientation became ineffective. However, the arrival of the compass in the lives of sailors and other adventurers undoubtedly improved the way of orientation.
Today the compass has basic updates that make it a much more precise instrument. These updates include lighting systems, in darker spaces and optical systems that allow the position of distant points to be determined.
The first prototype of a compass as a measuring instrument was not used on the European continent until the Renaissance. Its use was delayed because it was considered an object that was part of witchcraft and so-called black magic.
The ‘dry compass’, an instrument closer to what we know today as a compass, was invented in 1300. It was an object composed of a magnetised needle on a rotating axis inside a box with a glass protector and finally the nautical rose drawn on one of its surfaces.
The name that is most recognised in this whole process of inventing the compass is Italian Flavio Gioja. He is a marine pilot who perfected the orientation device until he built what we know today as a compass.
Since ancient times, compasses have had a variety of meanings, most notably direction and sense. This is why many people choose compasses as tattoos, as a sign or reminder of the right path to follow. This is one of the reasons why compasses have also become highly demanded decorative objects.
Especially antique compasses or replicas of them have become the most exclusive decorative examples of vintage and marine decoration. For those of us who are fond of decoration and love these styles it is essential to acquire an antique compass.
Personally, I think it’s wonderful to have an antique compass or replicas of it as decorative objects. The key is to think or imagine that they were objects that sailed the seas, that they were faithful companions of experienced ship captains or that they served as a guide to the most famous adventurers.
This type of object is still made but with a decorative purpose. Although they have certain levels of precision, there are now advanced orientation mechanisms, based on satellite technology.
This type of compass has become obsolete for practical use. However, they are perfect for inclusion in our home decoration.
Paperweights, book holders or simply as decorative objects, antique compasses are here to stay. For these purposes, models inspired by these ancient compasses are currently being manufactured. Brass and wood are usually the most used materials in their manufacture.
These replicas of antique compasses are undoubtedly unique decorative objects. For those who love the sailor or vintage style in the decoration of their house, antique compasses can be the perfect option.
Although a compass of this type could also be the perfect gift, especially for those who love adventure. You only have to give your gift a meaning because the compass symbolises the right destination.
Visit our collection of antique compasses and choose your favourite. We have exact replicas of old compass models. We offer you other examples that stand out for their attractiveness, such as the Brunton compass, used mainly by geologists. Decorate your house with exclusive and unique objects.