Here is our selection of antique Compass binnacles, they range from full size ships binnacles to smaller portable versions.

Antique compass binnacle by DENT.
The copper binnacle measures 9 inches high
and has side mounted illumination lantern.
It has a 3.5 inch liquid filled compassĀ 
and the bezel is engraved: Patent Liquid DENTS Compass No 1475,
61 Strand, London.

Antique compass binnacle by Whyte Thompson,

Antique ship's compass binnacle.
Unsigned 9.5 inch liquid filled compass.
The brass binnacle is complete with Kelvin's ball's and illumination lamp.
Height 15.5 inches, Diameter 12.5 inches.

A mahogany boxed dry card compass.
The compass card marked W.Hartmann, Hamburg.
With bevel edge glass sliding lid.

A ships compass binnacle is a case or stand on the deck of a ship, generally mounted in front of the helmsman, in which navigational instruments are placed for easy and quick reference as well as to protect the delicate instruments. Its traditional purpose was to hold the ship's magnetic compass, mounted in gimbals to keep it level while the ship pitched and rolled. A ships compass binnacle may be subdivided into sections and its contents typically include one or more compasses and an oil lamp or other light source.

The construction of many early (mid-18th century) compass binnacles used iron nails, which were later discovered to cause magnetic deviations in compass readings. As the development of the compass and understanding of magnetism progressed, greater attention was given to binnacle construction to avoid compass disturbances caused by iron.

With the introduction of iron-clad ships the magnetic deviation observed in compasses became more severe. Methods of compensation by arranging iron or magnetic objects near the binnacle were developed. In 1854, a new type of compass binnacle was patented by John Gray of Liverpool which directly incorporated adjustable correcting magnets on screws or rack and pinions. This was improved again when Lord Kelvin patented another system in the 1880s which incorporated two iron compensating sheres. These are known as "Kelvin's balls" in the United Kingdom, and "navigator's balls" in the United States.