A brass cased J. H. Steward pocket compass, dating from c.1890-1928. The compass card is marked 'J. H. Steward Ltd, London'. This design was still being produced in the 1920's and several versions were offered for sale in Steward's 1928 catalogue. The card design was a development of the classic Singer's Patent design of the 1860's. The compass features a hand drawn paper compass card with red 'N' marker, agate jewelled pivot, manual transit lock, bevelled glass, and an oxidised finish brass case.
James Henry Steward 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 until the middle of the 20th century.
The compass is in good condition and finds north well. There is some wear to the original oxidised finish of the case. The transit lock works perfectly. The compass card and original glass are in good condition.