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U.S. Militia Officer's Silvered Eagle Bit ca.1830-1840
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American officer's bit circa 1810-1830. Side bars are straight, 6 1/4 inches long. 1 1/16 inch wide narrowing to 1/4 inch at the other end from which a short lug holds the rings. The side bars are roughly 5 1/4 inch apart at the top and 4 1/4 inches apart at the bottom.
The bit is iron, with central 1 3/4 inch rondels that have been capped with stepped bosses with a floral motif running around the outer rim and an American eagle with a shield on its breast clutching arrows and palm branch in its talons, on a stippled background. The bosses and side bars are silvered. The bosses show all their color and have just a few edge dings as shown. The side bars retain about 70 percent of their silvering. The overall tone is untouched and a muted silver gray. Silver was the branch color for both dragoons and infantry at this time period, so the the bit would be appropriate for an officer in either branch of service.
An old museum or collection number in red is on the upper end of the left side bar and could be removed. I have not touched it.
A very nice pre-Civil War example with a great patriotic motif.
Shipping $12.95 insured. NY addresses add sales tax.