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J. H. Steward's Catalogue of Military Instruments (1909)

Price R 3,734.00 Sale


J. H. STEWARD Ltd, London, 1909

A very rare 1909 edition of the J. H. Steward catalogue of Military Instruments. Published in April 1909, this is a comprehensive catalogue of the military instruments and related items and accessories made and sold by J. H. Steward, illustrated throughout with black and white drawings. The catalogue features many of the well-known inventions of Lt-Col. Willoughby Verner, including his Prismatic Service Compass, 'Rapid' Sketcher, and Cavalry Sketching Board, along with other less well know instruments, such as the Telemeter, Rawlinson's Night Marching compass, and the Belfield Luminous compass. J. H. Steward's military instruments saw service throughout the British Empire in the colonial wars of the Victorian era, in the Boer War, and during WW1, as both official govenment issue and officers private purchase items.

This catalogue is an invaluable reference work for anyone collecting Boer war and WW1 era military instruments, compasses, and officers kit. It is very well illustrated throughout and includes descriptions and specifications.

J. H. Steward Ltd: James Henry Steward (1817-1896) established his business in London in 1852 as a maker and retailer of optical, scientific, military and surveying instruments. J.H. Steward was the head optician of the company and had businesses at 406 Strand, 457 West Strand and 54 Cornhill in London. In the mid 1800s he became the optician to Her Majesty's Government and the National Rifle, and National Artillery Associations. James Henry Steward died in 1896. J. H. Steward Ltd was incorporated in 1912 and continued in business in London until 1973. The main London office was sold in 1971, and from 1971-1973 the company rented premises in Catherine Street. All the remaining stock and long serving staff member George Goble (c.1916-1975) were moved to Catherine Street. The business finally moved to 154a Church Road, Hove, Sussex in 1973, before finally ceasing trading in 1975.

Lt-Colonel William Willoughby Cole Verner (1852-1922) served on the staff in the Egyptian campaign of 1884-85 and during the Boer War. He retired as a Lt-Colonel in May 1904. The earliest Verner designs were simple pocket compasses, with the various models of the Service Pattern, MK III to MK VII, appearing between c.1895-1918. His prismatic service compasses were essentially a development of the Schmalcalder patent design of the early 19th century, but they remained the standard service compass of the British Army until the start of WW2. As well as designing compasses, Verner was a prolific author, military historian, and chronicler of the Rifle Brigade.


In very good condition. The card cover is in good condition, with minor signs of wear and a few marks. The binding is good and secure. The text and illustrations are in very good condition, with one illustration cut out and removed from page 29-30.

Published: 1909
Illustrated card cover with black titling
Fully illustrated with numerous line drawings
Dimensions: 140mm x 210mm
Pages: 86