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    Contributing Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    Any Cavalry Horse Equipment Experts? Photos Added

    I picked up probably the oddest addition to my collection today rather unexpectedly. Spotted some old leather straps in a large bin at an antique festival today and grabbed the end of what I thought might be a rifle sling. Out came a US Cavalry bridle in fair condition, dated 1917. Wasn't positive what it was as I never saw one before but I recognized the eagles on the rosettes as the US Army emblem and took a chance on it for $20. Leather is supple, needs cleaned but could probably still be used. Some minor age cracking. Brass and copper has dark patina too it.

    Cleaning? Yes? No? and to what extent. I figure the leather at least deserves something. Brass and copper probably just a light wipe down.

    The bit is marked Made in Englandicon and "Never Rust". Can't quite make out the manufacture of the leather. Middle line is 1917, bottom line is L.N.O. Top line looks to be B & D CO or B & R CO. Is complete but does not have the reins attached. Further research leads me to believe bit may not be original to the set but I really don't know.















    Last edited by Aragorn243; 06-16-2019 at 05:39 PM.

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    Really Senior Member RT Ellis's Avatar
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    If the first letter of the contractor identification is a "B" there are two possible contractors: Belber Trunk & Bag Co., Philadelphia, or Brauer Bros. Mfg. Co., St. Louis, Mo. The military nomenclature for the bridle is Headstall Model of 1904. The correct bit for the headstall is the Model of 1909. The bit assembled to your headstall is a double rein bit that was popular with some equestrians and may have been assembled to the headstall in service or later by a civilian.

    You will find differing opinions as to a topical application to restore and preserve the leather. Some folks use lanolin products and others prefer Pecard's Antique Leather Dressing or similar products. The military issued Neat's Foot oil to keep leather supple.

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    Thank you so much. Was starting to think I'd never get a reply on this. Figured it was somewhat specialized but someone would know.

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    Member Cottage Hill Bill's Avatar
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    Post your pictures and question on militaryhorse.org premier site for cavalry specific topics.

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    Not a Cavalry man, but know a little about their kit which is always beyond the top notch in terms of "bull" and a great example of pride in their respective Regiments, whether Blues and Royals or LifeGuards.

    B&D Co Ltd & Masons Limited have ALWAYS supplied the leather goods for HM The Queens horses and I believe they still hold the Coat Of Arms for supplying the Royal Household to this day. As far as I can remember they have always supplied the leather for the Britishicon Army. Hope that helps.
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    Gil,

    Would they have supplied to the US Cavalry also. Not unheard of and the US military was probably short on materials when they entered the war. Bit is English, the Rosettes are US Army.

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    I believe the raw materials were supplied to the US and each Cavalry unit, and they then personalised each harness themselves, and probably over time copied their own pattern to suit.

    You see a lot of cavalry bags and rifle holders for horses marked with UKicon signage in the U.S especially in the late 1800's into WW1. Funnily enough saw one on a U.S TV programme a few months back.......the two guys that travel round and buy up antiques.
    Looking at the state of the leather it would be an easy restoration job. Buy some good quality leather dressing, smother it and leave it for a week to let it soak in. You will be surprised when you come to shine it up how well it does!

    Just to give you some idea of the extent of the saddlery works at the time here attached is some tack for sale currently made in all the allies countries:

    WWI Canadian Made Military Cavalry Saddle & Bridle : Parade Antiques, Shop for Antiques Online UK | Plymouth, Devon
    Last edited by Gil Boyd; 08-27-2019 at 05:17 AM.
    'Tonight my men and I have been through hell and back again, but the look on your faces when we let you out of the hall - we'd do it all again tomorrow.' Major Chris Keeble's words to Goose Green villagers on 29th May 1982 - 2 PARA

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