Stewart started making planes in 1774, so I would date this
plane to the latest part of the 18th century.
The wide chamfer
extends well across the shoulder of the plane, to almost the
very corner. On the opposite side of the plane, or the “blind
side,” the chamfer ends at exactly the shoulder height. On the
back end of the plane, the shoulder chamfer is mirrored, but the
blind side chamfer stops higher.
On the heel, the plane is struck with the numbers indicating the
size of the moulding it can cut - 5/8 by 6/8. The lack of the
proper fractional line on the numbers indicates an earlier
plane. The first number refers to the width of the cut, and the
second, 6/8, to the thickness of the sash bar that this plane
When Alex Mathieson took over the Stewart business in 1849, he
put his son Thomas, then 23 years old, in charge. The business
traded for a few years as Thomas A. Mathieson & Co in Edinburgh,
while Alex Mathieson continued his business at the Saracen Lane
In 1851, Alexander Mathieson passed away, and Thomas Mathieson
took charge of the entire business.
Arthur / McPherson Connection
In 1793 David Arthur started his business as a Wright’s Tool
Manufacturer and Turning Lathe Maker in Edinburgh. With time
David’s sons joined the business, and by 1825, the company’s
name changed to David Arthur & Sons.
Planes made by Arthur, especially later models, are not rare
which indicates that the business produced large quantities of
planes and other tools, including lathes.
Below are an example of a beautiful beech brace with a lignum
vitae head and a set of brace bits made and marked by Arthur.