Curb Bit

North Italian

Not on view

According to equestrian manuals, this mouthpiece, with its rounded elements called melons, was designed to ‘disarm’ the lips (they remove the thick lips from the bars, the part of the horses’ jaw without teeth, so that the mouthpiece can keep contact with them).

The bit, decorated with chiseled vegetal and grotesque Renaissance designs, would have been used during parades or luxurious equestrian games. It would have been combined with a richly decorated horse tack, possibly displaying similar ornaments.

Though the mouthpiece, the chain between the shanks, and the swivel rein rings, may incorporate some old elements, they are modern replacements.

Curb Bit, Iron alloy, gold, North Italian

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