Compass, Recovered from 1915 Wreck of German Zeppelin L-15 (COMP04)
Another museum piece: a Type XV magnetic compass made by the German firm Ludolph GmbH and used in the German Zeppelin L-15, as recovered from its April 1, 1915 wreck in the Thames River estuary. It is presented in this exceptional carved wooden box with an engraved metal label inside of the lid.
According to collector George Fulford's notes:
I’ve researched the L-15 destruction intensively and there is contention whether the Zeppelin was shot down by a fighter or by ack-ack, hence the imprecise wording of ‘gunfire’. The pilot, who claimed to have done so, covered in my book on Zeppelins, went on to achieve fame on the Western Front, survived the war and had a lot to do with the formation of the Royal New Zealand Air Force. He is not specifically named in this elegantly carved presentation box, but I assume it was given to him.
I bought this jewel in a posh antique store in London in 1962, and the compass still had a little fluid in it and the paper headings on the gimbaled ring were still readable. Sadly, the fluid has now evaporated but the compass still swings.