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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 condition.   

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 gauntlet.   

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, "6 ˝" 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 excellent condition.   

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.  SOLD



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