Description and Notes:
This rare and well made drawing instrument set comes with a dovetail jointed, solid mahogany case, and was originally belonged to one S. N. Smith. The case has two tiers and there is a compartment underneath the lid which, however, is empty upon acquisition. The lower tier contains one 6-in ivory scale and a steel knife key.
According to the Grace's Guide of British engineering. 1750 - 1960s, the maker of this set, W. H. Harling, founded his firm in 1851 at 47 finsbury Pvement, London. The company ceased making traditional pattern instruments and switched to flat pattern ones in 1929, and moved to 117 Moorgate, London.
All of the instruments in this set are signed by the maker, and are of the highest quality. In addition, they appear to be individually made rather than mass produced, as an unique identification number, 82, is consistently stamped on all of the interchangeable components of the main compass. The handle of the ruling pen and the lead container are made of ivory. This set also contains a most unusual instrument which I have yet to find in any other drawing instrument set. It is a "Shorthouse Patent" ink point compass. As shown in this picture, the ink point of this instrument is fixed on a cylinder which is screwed on a worm gear type screw to form a heilcal pair, such that by rotating the screw the ink point can slide along a slot of the body which the needle point is rigidly attached to. In this way the opening between the ink point and the needle point can be finely adjusted by turning either one of the two knobs attached to the two ends of the screw, and the two points would always be parallel to each other. Consequently, they would always be perpendicular to the drawing board when in use. It should also be noted that the needle points of the main compass and the spring bow are of the screw off type and a special tool is provided to disassemble them.