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First used by the Chinese in 1117, the compass revolutionized maritime navigation. While an early compass was little more than a magnetic needle in a bowl of water, the marine compass quickly evolved to have 48 distinct compass points along the edge to make more precise readings. Handcrafted Nautical Decor has the widest selection of compasses and decorative sextants available for sale: brass pocket compasses, brass desk compasses, decorative sextants, rosewood boxed compasses, brass gimbal compasses, These elegant, decorative and fully functional compasses make an excellent addition to any collection and add a touch of nautical sophistication to any home.
No single tool is more vital to navigation than the compass. Although useful on land for orienteering, the nautical compass is indispensable upon the open seas for maintaining a proper course without the benefit of any visible landmarks. The development and evolution of the medieval European compass combined with shipbuilding advances during the Age of Sail enabled the Age of Exploration, enabling the voyages of great explorers like Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Francis Drake and James Cook