Z5273 Federal Model 1859 "Ring" No. 1 Cavalry Curb Bit
Description: Here is a scarce bit that you just don't see every day. This one appears to be an early pickup or a barn find. This bit is also known as the "ring bit" or the "Mexican" bit. This example is missing the large ring that would have been attached. The ring was meant to "encircle the horse's lower jaw which dramatically increased the amount of pressure the bit would bring to bear on the horse's lower mouth." "A cricket or roller acts as a pacifier, providing the horse with a distraction to occupy itself, as well as stimulating the horse to salivate and keep the bit lubricated." The ring may have been intentionally removed on this piece or may be the reason the bit was discarded. This example is marked for Alexander Barlclay & Co. of New Jersey who was reported as an accoutrement maker 1861-1865.
Measures: 8" x 5.5"
Reference: Bridle Bits of the American Military, 1776-1945 by McPheeters & Dorsey Pg. 30-33
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American Civil War Relics & Military Antiques