Chinese mariner's compass with south ideograph marked in red

Made:
1825-1875
Chinese mariner's compass, 1825-1875, China. From a colour transparency in the Science Museum Photographic Archive. Chinese mariner's compass, 1825-1875, China SMG00063657

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Chinese mariner's compass, 1825-1875, China. From a colour transparency in the Science Museum Photographic Archive.
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Chinese mariner's compass, 1825-1875, China
Science Museum Group Collection
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

SMG00063657
Science Museum Group
© The Board of Trustees of the Science Museum

Chinese mariner's compass with south ideograph marked in red, unsigned, China, 1825-1875

The first Chinese record of a mariner's compass dates from the 12th century, some 100 years before its introduction in the Mediterranean. Though a knowledge of magnetism in China is supposed to date back to early times, the compass was never highly developed in China, and simple compasses like this one were still in use aboard junks well into the 20th century.

Details

Category:
Navigation
Object Number:
1873-25/1
type:
mariner's compass
credit:
Cuthill, W.