The compass, which enabled mariners to know the direction in which they were sailing, has always been one of the most important navigational instruments. For some time after sailors still depended on the winds, as they didn’t completely trust the magnetic compass. During this time the wind rose gradually evolved into the compass rose on nautical maps.
The Compass Rose / Mariners Compass has appeared on charts and maps since the 1300′s and is one of the earliest navigational instruments to be developed. The term “rose” comes from the figure’s compass points resembling the petals of the well-known flower. “Mariner’s Compass” name refers to star designs that radiate from the center of a circle. Compass design ususally consists 16 or 32 points to call “Mariner’s Compass”. The compass rose continued to be a useful decorative feature on charts and maps for the centuries.
Design Village has been making floorcloths in Compass design pattern. Here are some examples of this design.
The Compass Rose design below is from Painted Floor, Norwell, Massachusetts
House built circa 1695.