Rare WWI JH Steward Liquid Prismatic Compass c1916 – SOLD
1¼” floating mother of pearl card of Singer style form mounted on jewelled suspension, marked with cardinals (north indicated by luminous line) and subdivided down to 1 degree increments. The card signed by the maker “J.H. Steward Ltd, 406, Strand, London.” Black lacquered brass hunter case filled with liquid, glass in lid with sight line. Fold-down extendable prismatic lens and brass suspension ring with sight. The case lid signed “J.H. Steward Ltd, 406 Strand, London,” the compass verso with anti-slip ring and marked “11302/16,” the slip-ring marked “Hill, 295.”
Contained within its original brown leather carry case with buckle and strap fastener and belt loop. The lid marked inside “Hill, 295.”
In wonderful original condition, the glasses scratch and chip free, the black lacquer finish with only very minor signs of wear, small bubble in liquid. The compass card swings freely and finds north easily. The leather case in excellent condition, the stitching intact.
Other versions of this Steward compass carry the title “The Steward Patent Liquid Filled Prismatic Compass,” and patent numbers. It is probable that the number on the reverse in indeed a patent number – certainly, ’16’ refers to the year.
This is a rare variant of an already scarce compass. A very accurate working compass for any mountaineer, this is also a true gift for a serious collector.
James Henry Steward (1817–1896) established J.H. Steward in London in 1852, becoming incorporated as J.H. Steward Limited on 1st February, 1913. The company produced a large range of items for military use and advertised in their catalogues that they produced instruments for ‘Reconnoitring, Sketching, Night Marching, Signally, Gun Laying’. They were well thought of with their work to such a standard that they were opticians to ‘The British & Foreign Governments, the National Rifle Associations of England, India, Canada & the Colonies and the National Artillery Association.
Dimensions: 3″ across widest part x 1¼” deep; leather case dimensions: 3½” long x 2¾” deep x 1¾” high
Stock No: SI0539