Cavalry Bits

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Tiller+1975
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I have several cavalry bits and would like help in identifying them. I also would like to know how much I should ask for them and where I could sell them.
The first one is a 1859 ring bit 5", A.Barclay on one shank and J.D on the other.
The second, one bit has silver emblem with Rock Island on the shank, one has brass emblem with R.I.A on the shank.
The third is unusual, It has rings at the emblem position. Also two more of these that seem to be plated and may be reproductions.
Any help you can give me would be appreciated.
ThanksImage
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Bit 3.jpg
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Bit 2.jpg
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Bit 1.jpg
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Todd
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The #3 bit with the port rings is a US 'New Model' artillery bit that has a tin-plated finish - this was done post-civil war to many military bits to try to slow rusting. Some people call these "M1863 artillery bits".

The #2 bit (marked RIA?) is a standard US-issue Shoemaker type - I've not handled many of these so cannot make accurate assessment of this one.

The #1 bit is a regular Pattern of 1859 #1 ring bit - looks all complete, but the finish is not great. Most ring bits were not ever used, so there are a lot in 'new old stock' condition out there.

As far as value and where to sell - I'll leave that for others to comment on. It's difficult at best to make accurate judgements from photos.
Tiller+1975
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Do you know what the rings were used for on bit #3? Did they use a second set of reins to control headset like in English riding?
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TL Foster
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The second set of rings on bit 3 are likely for a curb chain or strap that goes under the chin. It gives a mechanical advantage that results in greater effect of the port. When you say "whoa", the horse will say "yes sir!". The slots below the cheek slots are unknown to me, though they may be for a lip strap or chain. There you are on the verge of inhumane treatment. Bit 1 would be a desperate to control an otherwise unmanageable horse. You might get it in the first time, but it will be a real fight the second.
As a dressage rider I'll save my comments on headsets and curb bits. :shh: (it doesn't work like that)
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Tom
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Todd
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I’d say they were rings for a check rein setup. The slots were for a curb rein set, where the curb chain was attached to hooks set in the small slots located adjacent to the headstall slots. In actual practice, the check reins would eliminated or at least minimize any action of the curb chain.
Tiller+1975
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Someone told me they were for clipping the horses together when one soldier held onto four horses while the riders we off their mounts. Has anyone heard anything like this?
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Todd
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Tiller+1975 wrote: Fri Sep 20, 2019 9:24 pm Someone told me they were for clipping the horses together when one soldier held onto four horses while the riders we off their mounts. Has anyone heard anything like this?
That was common tactic for cavalrymen, but that used a separate piece of gear called a 'link strap'. The link strap was a simple leather strap with a buckle on one end, and a snap on the other - the idea being that the link strap would be buckled to a bit ring, and the snap used to attach to the bit of the next horse.

The obvious weakness of this system was the nature of combat and flight-nature of horses - have one or more flailing animals with their bits attached to each other.... not good. Variations have been noted with links between halters, and more commonly them troopers just didn't use the links - holding reins or tying reins if required.
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