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MODEL 1872 HORSE BRUSH AND SHOE POUCH – EARLY INDIAN WAR CAVALRY ACCOUTREMENT – VERY GOOD SPECIMEN IN SOLID CONDITION:  Introduced with the other newly designed and/or modified Cavalry equipment described in Ordnance Memoranda No. 13, the Model 1872 Brush and Shoe Pouch was adopted to meet the needs of the Frontier soldier in the years following the Civil War.  The Model 1859 Saddlebags had been replaced by the larger Model 1872 Saddlebags, and this Brush and Shoe Pouch was issued in addition to the saddlebags, providing the soldier on campaign in the West, far from any depots that could resupply his needs, with a significant increase in his capability to carry items necessary to maintain himself and his mount.   

The Model 1872 Brush and Shoe Pouch was specifically designed to carry the horse brush in the larger pouch and a pair of pre-formed horse shoes in the smaller pouch, with fifteen horse shoe nails carried in the internal pocket of the shoe pouch.  In an effort to capitalize on the stocks of surplus material on hand from the Civil War, these pouches were made by converting Model 1859 Saddle Bags, and the stitch lines remaining from the pattern of the former bags can be seen in these pouches.  Although made in limited numbers and further manufacture was discontinued by the arsenals after the adoption of the superseding Model 1874 Horse Equipments, there is no doubt that the units in the West continued to issue these handy pouches to the troops as long as stocks existed, being used well into the later Indian War years and likely the reason that these survive in such low numbers today.  

This set of pouches is in very good condition, and while showing some evidence of use, they are remarkable in that once in the hands of a soldier, they survived that use to be available today.  The leather surfaces of the pouches are bright and shiny with no crazing or flaking.  All of the seams are intact and all the billets, standing loops, internal pocket lacing and flaps are present and intact.  The surface of the yoke has some light crazing, but is very solid with no weak points and it is still legibly stamped “US”.  The outer flap of the larger brush pouch has a small notch in the leading edge of the flap, and there is an isolated wear point at the fold of the same flap – both evidence of this set having been used on a horse.  The flap is not weakened nor is it in danger of tearing with reasonable care in handling and display, but is mentioned here in the interest of a full description.  In the overall scheme of rarity and condition, I would rate this set well above average and far better than is normally encountered.   

A true milestone piece of Indian War era horse equipment, this Model 1872 Brush and Shoe Pouch is a significant addition to a cavalry collection and is of such quality, there would few opportunities to find a better example.  (0520)  $1050 

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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