James F. Shew & Company, London, England circa 1900
Having been manufactured in London, cameras by James F. Shew & Company are seen very infrequently in the United States. When they are encountered, it's the more common quarter-plate format. Half-plate examples such as this one are very scarce, and the diminutive 1-7/8" x 3" size is extremely rare.
This example is fitted with a spring-driven snap shutter of unknown manufacture.
Compact and beautifully crafted, Shew's XIT and its related Eclipse cameras are some of the nicest to hail from the United Kingdom.