Monday, July 20, 2009

Spirit Compass Prop

This is a "spirit compass" I've had for years. Whenever I need a prop for a spiritualist character, or a plot point requires discovering a physical location, this is what I trot out.

I believe I bought it at the Madison-Bouckville Antique Show in upstate New York back in the early 90's. I have no idea what it's origins are other than the fact that it was made in Switzerland, is constructed from machined brass, and bears a resemblance to some nautical devices used to plot courses visually. At a guess, it's a faux-maritime decorating item from the 70's. The first time I saw it I immediately thought of the witch compass from the horror film "Warlock".

Presentation wise it could use some help. It's mildly impressive now, but if I banged together a velvet lined case, added some greeblies to sex it up a bit, and worked up some faux-documentation it would be a real killer.


Alysson said...

That may be a faux, ornamental instrument(and a rather attractive one at that), but I have used the genuine article.

It's a type of surveyor's compass that was used in mapping in conjunction with an inclinometer and plane-table. It's actually something that might have been used during the Australian expedition.

The whole lot is now packaged in a typical theodolite ... and may even come equipped with a couple of undergraduate students to operate it.

Anonymous said...

would you be able to find another or would you be willing to sell