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J. H.Steward (Firm)
Bosworth's patent cavalry sketching board.
London : J.H. Steward, [not before 1897]
Physical Description:
1 sketching board : wood, brass, leather ; 24 x 20 x 2 cm
Rare Books and Manuscripts
UG470 .S8 1897 Flat A
Yale Center for British Art, Paul Mellon Fund
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Copyright Status:
Copyright Not Evaluated
Three-Dimensional Artifacts
The patent for the J. H. Steward-W. J. Bosworth board was filed in 1897 (No. GB189709492).
The cavalry sketching board was originally designed ca. 1880 by Colonel W.H. Richards, who taught military surveying at the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst. Improvements were made by Major Willoughby Verner ca. 1890. William John Bosworth patented his refinements in 1897, and versions of the board remained in use until around 1930. Bosworth's military service included command of the 2nd Provisional Battalion, Aldershot, in South Africa. He also founded the Roehampton Military College in 1884 (transferred to Earl's Court in 1910). During the First World War, similar sketching boards were used by pilots and observers of the Royal Flying Corps to make sketches of enemy positions and trenches.
The board was designed to facilitate drawings of military topography while on horseback. The drawing board proper measures 21 x 15 cm. Brass rollers are attached at left and right. Each roller bears a narrow slit for receiving either end of a scroll of paper, on which sketches were made. Inset in a channel at the top of the board is a removable compass, which also bears the name of J.H. Steward. A leather belt (33 x 3 cm) is attached to the underside of the board with a swivel joint. The belt would be tightened around the artist's bridle arm. The swivel joint enabled the user to twist the whole board on their arm to align the compass (and board) to the desired direction.
The light-toned trim at top and bottom of the board bears a series of scales: "6 ins. to mile yards"; "4 ins. to mile yards"; and "scale of H.E. [horizontal equivalents] at 6 ins. to mile." The reverse of the board includes marks for a simple ruler (in inches).
Subject Terms:
Artists' tools -- Specimens.
Cavalry -- Great Britain.
Military maps.
Military sketching.
Military topography.
World War, 1914-1918.
Drafting, drawing and writing equipment.
Compasses (direction indicators)
Bosworth, William John, 1858-1923.

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