Vintage Horse Harness Brass, used to decorate draft horses in England. Some people claimed they were also amulets to ward off evil spirits. I have quite the collection of these beautiful pieces & to keep it interesting I thought we could lower the price & I would send you a random one. Then I don’t have to keep taking pictures and you get a surprise! All of them have a beautiful patina you can polish & clean if you wish, personally I think it adds character. <3
In ancient Rome, horse harnesses were sometimes embellished with horse brasses known as phalerae, normally in bronze, cut or cast in the shape of a boss, disk, or crescent, most often used in pairs on a harness. In medieval England, decorative horse brasses were in use before the 12th century, serving as talismans and status symbols, but extensive, original research by members of the National Horse Brass Society has shown that there is no connection whatsoever between these bronze amulets to the working-class harness decorations used in the mid-19th century which developed as part of a general flowering of the decorative arts following the Great Exhibition.
There are a great deal of die-hard, unfounded myths surrounding these decorations such as their usage as amulets to ward off the “evil eye“. The most popular size is 3 × 3½ inches of flat brass with a hanger by which the brass is threaded onto a horse harness strap, known as a Martingale. In England many of these items of harness found their way into country public houses as the era of the heavy horse declined, and are still associated today as a pub decoration. By the late 19th century heavy horses were decorated with brasses of all kinds and sizes. During this era working horse parades were popular throughout the British Isles and prize or merit awards were given, some by the Royal Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). Horse brasses were often highly prized by the “carters“, who decorated their horse with them. Other horse brass subjects include advertising, royalty commemoration, and in later years, souvenir brasses for places and events, many of which are still being made and used today.