Curb Bit


Not on view

The cheekpieces of this bit are adorned with a pierced decoration featuring hearts and friezes of stylized fleurs-de-lis running on the edge of the shanks. These shanks were called ‘strong,’ meaning that the swivel ring’s hole is placed ahead of the axis of the banquet (piece to which the mouthpiece is attached). Strong shanks were used for lowering the head of a horse that would hold it too high. The mouthpiece, the curb chain and the rein rings hanging at the bottom of the lower loops are modern.

The pierced decoration of this bit, giving a lace-like aspect to the metal, is typical of the decoration used by the spur makers in South East of Germany in the 16th and 17th centuries. Despite their name, spur makers not only made spurs, but also other small equestrian hardware like bits, stirrups, muzzles, cavessons or curry-combs, sometimes adorned with the same intricate decoration.

Curb Bit, Iron alloy, tin, German

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