1886 PATTERN US ARMY CAVALRY GAUNTLETS – IN
EXCELLENT CONDITION – SCARCE
CAVALRY UNIFORM ITEM: One of, if not the most,
recognizable and classic piece of the Cavalry Trooper’s
uniform, this excellent pair of 1886 Pattern Gauntlets
were issued, evidenced by the soldier's name penned
inside each of the cuffs, however they were gently used
and have survived in excellent
As a standard item of issue, these goat skin gauntlets
were first introduced to the Indian War Army with the
1884 Pattern Gauntlets. Within a very short period of
time it was discovered that the silk thread with which
they were assembled reacted poorly with the tanning
chemicals in the leather, causing the seams to fail
rendering the gauntlets useless. The specifications
were changed and the 1886 Pattern Gauntlets were ordered
assembled with cotton thread with the addition of welts
in the seams of the thumb and fingers. These welts, as
are incorporated in this set, provide for a ready
identification between the 1884 and 1886 patterns.
While the thread for assembling the gauntlets was
changed from silk to cotton, the silk thread was
retained for the decorative stitching on the cuffs and
the three seams on the back of the hand of the
The 1886 Pattern Gauntlets were manufactured by civilian
contractors for the army over some twenty years.
This particular pair was manufactured under the army’s
Contract of 1898.
Legibly ink stamped inside the right cuff is the maker’s
information, “EDMOND B. LYON, Contract August 6TH 1898”.
The interior of both cuffs is ink stamped with the size,
˝" and the name of the soldier who wore these gauntlets,
"P. E. HOLMES".
This pair shows very little evidence of use or wear, and the goat
skin still retains the nap of the leather over all the
surfaces. There is some isolated spots of soiling,
however there are no wear spots or holes. The
correct russet glove leather lining in each cuff shows
no staining or wear, and the cuffs retain their original
stiffened shape. All of the seams are intact as is
all of the decorative stitching.
As seen in any number of period photographs, these
gauntlets were obviously popular with the soldiers in
the cavalry. Not only were they practical in that they
protected the soldiers’ hands, but I’m quite sure the
troopers regarded this specialized issue of uniform as a
mark of distinction that set them apart from other
enlisted men. As a direct result of their popularity
and constant use, and the relative small branch of the
army to whom they were issued, these gauntlets did not
survive in large numbers and they are not often
available on the market. Certainly, not in this
This pair will be a notable addition to a cavalry
collection and would present well displayed with a
uniform grouping, a plumed dress helmet, or alongside
your inspected Colt Single Action pistol.