Further to my previous guide on the WW2 British Army MK III compass I recently noticed a new reproduction compass on which several of the faults which I pointed out on the old reproductions, have been corrected, so that they more resemble a genuine compass.
The modifications that I have noticed are to the prism slide assembly, the hinge and the markings on the base.
The base markings on the latest reproduction are:-
T.G. CO. LTD.
A 349 G or A 329 G or B 150296 with a date of 1943
MK I I I
On the genuine compass the O in CO and the T and D in LTD are reduced in size, raised level with the top of the other letters and underlined.
Also the serial number should be preceded by NoB, where the o in No is reduced in size, raised level with the top of the N and underlined.
The broad arrow on the new fake has also been modified. It now resembles an arrow with a long central shaft, whereas the genuine broad arrow is more like a crows foot.
On this new reproduction the date and MK III are now in the correct position, but it is marked MK I I I whereas the genuine marking is MK III. (That is the serifs on the top and bottom of the I's are all touching).
Although the prism slide assembly now more resembles the genuine item the lanyard ring still has two parallel sides whereas the genuine lanyard ring is circular.
The first photo is of the base markings on a genuine MK III compass.
The second photo is of the base markings on the new fake compass.
The third photo is of the modified prism slide assembly and lanyard ring on the new fake compass.
Of the two fake compass's that I have seen one was for sale at £50 and the other at £70, so I do hope that this new guide will prevent a collector wasting a lot of money on a fake compass when for the same money he could have bought the genuine item.
One feature that the genuine Mk 111 compass has is when the open compass is viewed from above, there are eight screws visible under the glass of the bezel. If you cannot see any screws then don't bit on it and don't buy it.
Watch out for the Mk111 compass 'captured' by the Germans and 're-issued' with eagles and swastikas. They are also fakes.
Also be on the lookout for the F. Barker 1939 Mk IX compass. They are also reproductions. One easy way to identify these Mk IX repros is that they all have the same serial number B 13066.
A New Reproduction British Army MK III Compass
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11 June 2015
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