MODEL 1859 CAVALRY BRIDLE, BIT, CURB CHAIN AND
REINS – A COMPLETE CIVIL WAR BRIDLE WITH ALL THE
COMPONENTS IN VERY NICE CONDITION: The Model
1859 Cavalry Bridle was introduced immediately before
the Civil War, and was not only the standard bridle used
by the cavalry during the war, but based on photographic
evidence was used well into the 1880’s by mounted
soldiers on the Western Frontier in spite of the
adoption of the Model 1874 Bridle.
This bridle is complete with the crown piece, brow band,
both cheek pieces and the throat lash – all in excellent
condition with bright, smooth surfaces and no crazing or
flaking. The crown piece ends in two billets on both
sides – one billet is for the cheek piece that attaches
to the bit and the other billet is for the throat latch
that passes under the horse’s jaw. All of the billets
are full length – notable as these were often shortened
by the soldier to eliminate excess leather once the
bridle had been fitted to his horse.
The leather is supple and
pliable, there are no weak points, and the bridle is
complete with all the proper iron frame buckles. The
crown piece is stamped with a large “US”, identifying
this bridle as US Army property – a stamping that is not
often found surviving on these bridles due to the heavy
use to which most of them were exposed.
The Model 1859 Cavalry Bit is an excellent example of
this famous cavalry bit. This specimen is a No. 3, so
indicated by the numeral stamped on the “near side” or
left, cheek piece. The bit is in excellent condition
with no damage, nor any sign of heavy wear or use, and
much of the original blue remains. Both of the original
brass “US” bosses are present, as is the lower slobber
bar – often missing – and the two curb chain hooks.
The Model 1859 Cavalry Reins are full length, securely
stitched to the rein rings on the bit. The reins, made
of two equal lengths of leather strapping, are sewn at
the center point as originally made which provided a
continuous loop for the soldier to control the horse.
The leather, like the bridle, has a bright shiny surface
with no breaks, weak points or crazing. One of the best
sets of Model 1859 Reins I’ve seen in years.
The Model 1859 Cavalry Curb Chain, which served to
retain the bit in the horse’s mouth, is complete with
all of the links in place, no corrosion or misshaping,
and yet still retaining some of the original blue
finish. A very nice added value to this set.
Surviving specimens of the Model 1859 Cavalry Bridle
which are complete with the bit, curb chain and reins,
and are fully intact are scarce and difficult to find.
A quality set such as the one offered here in which the
leather and steel components are in such excellent
condition are almost impossible to find. This piece
will be a notable addition to your collection and would
be a highlight in a Civil War and Early Indian War
Cavalry display. (0471)