Ever type up a really long reply...and then lose the whole thing? Yeah.
Cowchick, I really don't know what I want--if I had to pick, I guess it would be "Americana" cowboy-type bits. I adore your Californio/vaquero collection, but there's no way I could ever afford real works of art like that, and besides, I know that if I had a spade bit I'd be tempted to use it, and I can't imagine that would go over well. Though I do just love the look of good spades. I love Jim's Civil War bits, too, especially since I went through a big Civil War phase in school. The thing about Crocketts and the like is that I really don't know the history enough to appreciate them, and so I'm just not impressed. In short, I don't know WHAT I want, but I want SOMETHING--never mind that this is a terrible time to start a collection, as I need to be saving rather than spending money. Say, anyone want to trade a handful of five-year-old Reinsman barrel bits for something nice?
Please keep posting pictures, Jim, Cowchick, and anyone else. I at least enjoy drooling over them and learning.
And on that note, question on the artillery bits. I'm assuming they were used on the horses/teams who pulled the cannons and such, right? Were they used with two sets of reins, like a Pelham (which would be a huge handful for the drivers), or as curb/snaffle only depending on need, or somehow else entirely?
This is silly, too, but I don't know if you saw the movie War Horse
, and I'm curious if those bits were authentic.