Interesting M1874 bridle arrangement by Remington

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Joseph Sullivan
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Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:01 pm

Friends:

Was in Ft. Worth today, at the Carter, looking at their peerless collection of works by Remington and Russell. Took a close look at Remington's 1896 bronze sculpture, The Wounded Bunkie , linked here: http://images.google.com/imgres?imgurl= ... l%26sa%3DN . Was struck by several things about this masterpiece:

1) The reproductions that one sees for sale for a couple thousand American dollars are remarkably bad, regardless of being cast in bronze (the originals go at auction for millions of dollars);

2)Remington has a bridle and rein set up that I have not seen, yet with his eye for detail, we have to take it somewhat seriously-- the Shoemaker is being used something like a Pelham, with the bridoon rein coming off the ring of the bit, and then the lead line being sort attaches to one bit shank, despite the fact that the horses have halters.

Has anyone seen photos that would confirm this arrangement?

One other thing -- the two soldiers in the bronze have almost identical postures to the wounded cowboy and his helper in Remington's big 1889 painting A Dash For The Timber. You can see this in the image of the painting linked here: http://www.cartermuseum.org/works-of-art/1961-381

Look at the second and third figures from the left.
Joe
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Pat Holscher
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Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:23 pm

Interesting observation about the reproductions. I've often been shocked by the high detail of the original Remington's where I had only previously seen a reproduction.
Pat

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Harve Curry
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Sat Jan 26, 2008 6:55 pm

Remington used models to pose and photographed them. This could account for the same posture of the soldiers and the cowboy.
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Bill Weddle
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Pat Holscher
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Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:15 pm

A Dash For The Timber has always been one of my favorite Remingtons.
Pat

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Sat Jan 26, 2008 9:25 pm

If you like art like Remington's PLUS lots more........ A must see is DESERT CABALLAROS WESTERN MUSEUM out Wckenburg way, as they like to put it in Arizona.
Went for a visit March 2007. even my museum hating wife like it.
Richard
Joseph Sullivan
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Sun Jan 27, 2008 10:42 pm

BUT, has anybody seen or heard of the rein arrangement shown in that sculpture?
Joe
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 8:27 am

Here's another photo of it. Wish we had a close up.

http://www.askart.com/AskART/photos/CNY5261993/98.jpg
Pat

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John Fitzgerald
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:41 am

Remington's "Dismounted: the 4th Troopers Moving" has lots of close up detail. I wonder if it would help to look at that one? It might be the same halter/bridle arrangement.
John Fitzgerald
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Joseph Sullivan
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 9:56 am

Pat:

The image you posted is one of the originals, just like the one I was physically looking at on Saturday. You can see all the reins and the lead line -- which sags down a bit.

However, I say again --- I have not seen this arrangement before and was surprised by it. Has anyone else ever seen or read of this?
Joe
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:10 am

Joe, I can't see it clearly enough to say.
The typical arrangement of which I am aware was the bridle over the halter with the link strap buckled to the near side rein ring of the curb bit (along with the rein). The link was then snapped into the buckle of the upper near cheek piece buckle (in fact my original bridle has two scallops in the inner surface of that buckle when the ling snap rubbed it). The halter strap was buckled to the low center ring, dangled loosely down and was tied off on the forward near side saddle sidebar ring.
What are you seeing on the sculpture?
I don't attach too much concern for accuracy on Remington's (or others) sculptures as they were done in his east coast studio using models and what was available at the time as examples. He and Schreyvogel of course had collections of artifacts for models, but not everything. If it was a sketch done by him while in the field with the Tenth, that would be one thing, but studio work in NY is another. Just my 2 Cents.
Rick
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Pat Holscher
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:11 am

Joseph Sullivan wrote:Pat:

The image you posted is one of the originals, just like the one I was physically looking at on Saturday. You can see all the reins and the lead line -- which sags down a bit.

However, I say again --- I have not seen this arrangement before and was surprised by it. Has anyone else ever seen or read of this?
I wish I had a better view of it. I can't quite tell what is going on there.
Pat

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Joseph Sullivan
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Tue Jan 29, 2008 10:47 am

Rick:

It could be that this is a studio error, but a remarkably detailed one. The arangement you described is what I am used to seeing, but it ain't what Remington sculpted. He had a double bridle set-up with the lead line attached to the bit shank and NOT to the halter. Could be that he had pictures that confused him and he thought the lead line and the link strap were the same. Could also be that he just figured that the nice round setup on the Shoemaker just HAD to be used like a pelham. Who knows?

As close as you are to FW, you ought to toddle over to the Carter. It is a wonderful museum in every respect.
Joe
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