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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   The reins, made of two equal lengths of leather strapping, are sewn at the center point as originally made which provided a continuous loop for the soldier to control the horse.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.  SOLD



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