How To Display Horse Brasses? (TOP 5 Tips)

  • All the earliest known horse brasses are hand made from sheet or latten brass. They were cut out using hand tools and were often hammered into shape. One of the easiest ways of recognising a handmade brass is by the hammer marks on the back.

What can you do with horse brasses?

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.

How are horse brasses made?

Making horse brasses Early horse brasses were entirely cast in molds, but later horse brasses were either cast or stamped from sheets of brass. Studs (getts) on the underside of the medallion enabled the piece to be lifted from the mold. They might be filed down or used to attach to the leather strap.

Do horse brasses have any value?

Horse brasses are still used today, and have also become popular as decorative items. Apart from the exceptionally rare brasses, fine examples can be still bought relatively cheaply and the diverse nature make them an ideal collectible.

How do you clean old horse brasses?

Mix together 1/2 cup of vinegar, a teaspoon of salt, and a sprinkling of flour until it forms a paste. Spread the mixture on the brass and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Rinse with cool water and dry. (This method also works on corroded brass.)

Are horse brasses lucky?

Originally horse brasses began as charms or amulets to ward off evil and to bring good luck, but they continued as festive decoration long after their original use had been forgotten.

What is the purpose of horse brasses?

horse brass, decorative metal plaque fitted to the martingale, a set of straps attached to saddle and bridle that serve to steady a horse’s head or check its upward movement. The use of these ornaments is of considerable antiquity, but most English horse brass dates from after 1830.

How do you polish horse brass?


  1. Check to see if it’s really brass.
  2. Squeeze half a lemon into your bowl.
  3. Add your baking soda.
  4. Stir the baking soda and lemon mix until it forms a delicious smelling paste.
  5. Use a soft cloth and apply the paste.
  6. Rinse off the paste and dry.
  7. When you’re done, give the brass a really thorough rinse.

What are horse decorations called?

A caparison is a cloth covering laid over a horse or other animal for protection and decoration. In modern times, they are used mainly in parades and for historical reenactments. A similar term is horse-trapper. The word is derived from the Latin caparo, meaning a cape.

What are horse medallions?

These medallions were popular decorations for the harnesses of working horses, especially in the mid-19th century. As horses ceased to be used for many tasks in the 20th century, the brasses were used as wall decorations and were popular souvenirs.

Horse Brasses Repurposed

Horse brasses have been on display at antique exhibits and in shops for years. I was aware that they were “horse brasses,” but had no idea what they were used for. When I first came into this house, my wonderful friend Sue surprised me with a number of these to put on display in the trophy case in the hallway. They’re fantastic. Each and every one of them is completely different.

They are very collectible!Credit: Henderson Auctions, UK
British Royal Horse Brass DesignsCredit:

Did you know that? In the past, and in certain cases now, draft horses’ harnesses were adorned with metal decorations that identified their owners and served to embellish the harnesses. As good luck charms or protective amulets, horse brasses were created in the 15th century as a result of research. Over time, they have evolved from being primarily defensive to being more ornamental additions for harnesses. Since then, they have been created for a variety of occasions ranging from royal festivities to commemorating clubs, organizations, guilds, and trade unions.

  • Here are some of my most recent discoveries.
  • I have been unable to uncover any further information about this particular design style.
  • These are rather substantial items.
  • Consequently, yes, strictly speaking, they are for horses and they are brass – but they may not be “horse brasses” in the classic sense!
  • then what should I do with them is the question.
  • It would be nice to have a horse to mount them on!

How To Display Horse Brasses?

How Should Horse Brasses Be Displayed? What is the purpose of horse brasses? A horse brass is a brass plaque that is used for the decorating of horse harness gear, particularly for shire and parade horses, and is made of brass. They were particularly popular in England from the mid-19th century until their overall decline, which coincided with the introduction of the draft horse, and they continue to be sought for by collectors today. What are horse medallions used for, and why do they exist?

Horses were valuable goods since they were used for employment, transportation, and warfare.

What is the composition of horse brasses?

Hand tools were used to carve them out, and they were frequently pounded into form. The hammer marks on the back of a handmade brass object are one of the most straightforward methods to identify it. They are, on the other hand, extremely uncommon and much sought for by collectors.

How To Display Horse Brasses – Related Questions

It is true that brass – even though it is considered junk – may be sold for a good amount of money. Ornaments, key rings, antique brass instruments and instruments from the past, candle holders, hardware and even shell casings are all valuable pieces of brass that may be sold. If you’re trying to get rid of some surplus brass, you have two options: selling or pawning.

What is horse grass?

The truth is, you may make money by selling your brass – even if it’s considered “junk.” Ornaments, key rings, antique brass instruments and instruments from the past, candle holders, hardware and even shell casings are all valuable pieces of brass to keep on hand. If you’re wanting to get rid of some surplus brass, you have two options: selling or pawning it.

Why do pubs have horse brass?

A horse brass is an ornamental plate that is used to embellish a harness, particularly for shire and parade horses. It is made of brass. From the mid-19th century forward, the brasses gained widespread acceptance in England, where they remained popular until the advent of the internal combustion engine reduced the demand for working horses.

Why are horse brasses in pubs?

Horse brasses, which were first used to ornament and identify draft horses in the 17th century, are now extremely valuable collector’s items. In England, you may see them adorning the rafters of pubs and hanging near the fireplaces of private residences.

What are horse decorations called?

A caparison is a textile covering that is placed over a horse or other animal for the purpose of protection and ornamentation, respectively. In current times, they are mostly employed in parades and historical reenactments, among other things. Horse-trapper is a phrase that is comparable.

What is the hardness of brass?

Brass’s hardness has usually been described in terms of its greatest hardness, rather than its average hardness. In the 1960s, the Copper Development Association (CDA) published Publication No. 36, which stated that full hard cartridge brass has an usual hardness of 175-185HV, whereas fully annealed cartridge brass has a typical hardness of 65HV.

How can you tell how old brass is?

Examine a tiny section of the metal to determine whether it is old brass or bronze, which is a fairly similar alloy. When tested with hydrochloric acid, brass will turn pink and will eventually resemble pure copper as the acid eliminates the zinc from the metal. Use the acid sparingly, and just on a tiny area of the metal, because this is a highly corrosive test.

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What is brass worth today?

When it comes to scrap metal, brass is valued around $1.25 to $2 per pound ($0.08 to $0.12 per ounce). Some brass artifacts are more expensive than others on the vintage and antique antiques market, with values ranging from $10 to more than $1,000 per piece for some brass items.

What grass is bad for horses?

Sorghum, Sudangrass, Johnsongrass, and Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids should not be used for grazing horses. Sorghum, Sudangrass, Johnsongrass, and Sorghum-Sudangrass hybrids should not be used for grazing horses. Horses that graze on these species are at risk of developing paralysis and urinary problems. Hay derived from these species is regarded to be safe for human consumption.

What grass do horses like best?

Pure stands of orchardgrass, meadow fescue, endophyte-free tall fescue, and Kentucky bluegrass were shown to have the optimum balance of plant persistence, yield, nutritional value, and horse preference when compared to the other grass species tested.

Can horses with laminitis eat grass?

High levels of sugar in grasses can cause laminitis in horses that are predisposed to the condition. Horses who are susceptible to parasites should be given minimal grazing or no grazing at all. If you choose to graze, do so between the hours of 3 a.m. and 10 a.m. Maintain the horse’s physical condition.

What is horse armor called?

Barding (sometimes written bard or barb) is a type of body armor used by war horses to protect themselves from harm.

What is a horse collar called?

Harness. Websites that are not owned or controlled by us. Horse collar, a device made of leather or leather and metal that is worn around the horse’s neck and to which traces are attached, and which is used to tether the animal to a wagon or plow while it is not in use. With traces linked to the wide band, a Dutch collar is made up of a broad band over the chest and a thin band over the withers.

Why use a neck strap on a horse?

Essentially, a neck strap is just a piece of leather that is wrapped around the horse’s neck. In order to enhance stability, the rider can hold onto the reins without pushing on the horse’s mouth. Neck straps are commonly seen in the show jumping and eventing disciplines, although they may be used by any rider in any discipline.

Is Silver stronger than brass?

Sterling SilverSilver is also regarded a precious metal, which implies that while it is less expensive than gold, it has a higher monetary worth than alloys such as brass. Sterling Silver

Is brass stronger than Aluminium?

Unless otherwise determined by a Metal Expert, brass is the hardest metal and aluminum is the softest metal available.

Which is harder nickel or brass?

Brass: 3, bronze: 3, nickel: 4, copper: 3. Platinum is rated 4-4.5.

How do you tell if it is brass?

It is rather simple to determine whether or not a thing is made of brass. If the metal does not have a tinge of white-yellow or dull-yellow, you can generally rule out brass products because they are often yellow in appearance. Another thing you may check for is evidence of wear and tear. Brass that is genuine will stain, whereas fraudulent brass will rust.

Does antique brass look like copper?

Many other popular brass alloys, particularly those containing at least 85 percent copper, can appear orange or reddish brown when they include at least 85 percent copper. If there is any indication of orange, yellow, or gold in the object, it is brass rather than copper. For example, if the brass alloy is virtually totally copper, you may need to compare it to a copper pipe or piece of jewelry to determine its composition.

Is brass worth more than copper?

Copper and brass differ in a number of ways, including the value of scrap copper, the applications for which they are each employed, and the composition of the metal itself. Metals like as copper and brass are often utilized in plumbing components, with copper being more typically used in electronics. Copper has a greater scrap value than brass, which has a lower scrap value.

How do you know if brass is valuable?

Copper normally has the color of a new penny–a sort of orange, almost reddish hue. Brass, on the other hand, has the color of a new penny–a kind of orange, almost reddish hue.

Color is the most effective method to differentiate brass from copper. Brass has a considerably brighter golden tone to it, making it appear more like gold. Look for the maker’s mark on your brass antique object by carefully inspecting it.

The National Horse Brass Society

R.J. Bradshaw and Martingales There are few collectors who can deny the apparent appeal of a Martingale and other ornamental strapping, which is why they are so popular. As many collectors point out, this is exactly how horse brasses were supposed to be shown, and if they have remained relatively intact and the leather has not been damaged too much by the passage of time, there is no better way to exhibit them. Using a Martingale to restrain a hefty horse, a loop is formed (through which a girth is threaded) and fastened to the bottom of the collar to prevent the horse from moving too much.

  • In its literal translation, the word Martingale simply means “strap,” and it has been a phrase for this piece of harness-ware used by horsemen for many years to refer to it.
  • An interesting blend of cast and stamped fonts may be found on the left side of the image.
  • Conditions are important, and it is frequently a wise strategy for the collector of brasses on leather to ensure that they are handled with the greatest care possible.
  • This is an excellent collection, and it provides us a fair concept of how a collection may seem when it is displayed on a wall in conjunction with others like it.
  • One of the most desirable types is the barrel stud strap next to it, which comes from the Litchfield Brewery.
  • It is flanked by a martingale in the north-eastern style, which sits next to a superb double-martingale with matching pairs of brasses on red leather, which is also in the north-eastern style.
  • Why?

Tod or his contemporary, Mr A.

Due to wartime constraints or restricted space, this plate was not included in any of Richard’s publications (Horse Brass Collections Vols 1, 2, and 3 were all published in 1944), and as a result, it was left out of the book.

It is published here with permission, as is the plate immediately below it, to illustrate a point.

Archive) At left is an image of four martingales that were really used, but which were published in an earlier booklet written by H.S.

(From the N.H.B.S.

If these don’t give you a taste for Martingales (or breast-straps), then I will withdraw my argument.

Horse brass – Wikipedia

A collection of English brasses is on display. Ahorse brass is a brass plaque used for the ornamentation of horse harnessgear, particularly for shire and display horses, as well as for other purposes. They were particularly popular in England from the mid-19th century until their overall decline, which coincided with the introduction of the draft horse, and they continue to be sought for by collectors today. When it comes to comparable disks, the archaeological word for them is phalerais. These disks were quite popular in Iron Age Europe, especially Ancient Rome.


Horse harnesses in ancient Rome were frequently adorned with horse brasses known as asphalerae, which were typically made of bronze and carved or cast in the shape of a boss, disk, or crescent, and were most commonly used in pairs on a harness. The use of decorative horse brasses as talismans and status symbols in medieval England dates back to the 12th century. However, extensive original research by members of the National Horse Brass Society has revealed that there is no connection whatsoever between these bronze amulets and the working-class harness decorations that emerged as part of a general flowering of the decorative arts following the Great Exhibition in London in 1851.

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Several of these pieces of harness made their way into rural public houses when the age of the big horse came to an end, and they are still used as bar decorations today in England and other parts of Europe.

Working horse parades were popular throughout the British Isles during this time period, and prize or merit awards were given out, some of which were sponsored by the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

Some of the other themes covered by horse brasses include advertising and royal memorial, as well as souvenir brasses commemorating locations and events, many of which are still in production and usage today.


The practice of collecting horse brasses for their own purpose, rather than as ornaments for harness, appears to have begun around 1880, when women began to purchase the newly released, pierced-design, die-struck brasses that were used for pin-cushions at a discount. Later on, they were frequently used as fingerplates on doors, as evidenced by tales in the trade journal, Saddler and Harness, written by the experienced saddler William Albery, who lived in Horsham, Sussex. Among the elite and middle classes from around 1890 onwards, collecting various sorts of brass (face-pieces, swingers, and hame-plates, for example) became a highly popular activity.

A great deal of Victorianromanticism surrounded the purported esoteric origins and old, unbroken bloodline of these embellishments, which was prevalent in the literature about them beginning about the 1890s.

Some of these stories include the origin of astalismanic emblems, which were allegedly carried back to England by homecoming knights returning from the Crusades or, later on, by migrating Romani; however, once again, no evidence has ever been presented to support any of these hypotheses.

Cast brasses

Whatever the different collectors’ opinions on when and where working-horse harness adornment first appeared in the British Isles, the vast majority of collectors believe that cast brasses were the first to arrive on the scene in the early 1900s. However, while there is still some disagreement about how even these were created, the majority of collectors now are in agreement that the first ornaments were basic, cast studs that came in a range of shapes and sizes. However, by the second half of the nineteenth century, the manufacturing of such items had developed from a local, ornamental cult to a national fashion, with the majority of their production centered in and around the West Midlands.

Stamped brasses

There are a few examples of stamped brasses being applied to heavy horse harness that date back to around 1880, with another small number occurring perhaps a decade or so earlier. It is highly likely that the process developed from one that was already well-established in the manufacture of carriage harness trappings and military insignia. Although it appears that manufacturing of these reached a zenith immediately before the First World War, a few kinds have been created since the 1920s, however their quality is relatively low due to the fact that they are fashioned from thinner gauge brass sheet.

stamped brasses, unlike their cast counterparts, were not created in molds, but were instead pressed from sheet brass that was around 1/16 inch in thickness, however the gauge of the sheet used was different from previous specimens.

Since the end of the British working horse, the manufacturing of cast and stamped brasses has persisted, but the most of their sales are to the souvenir trade, as well as to other specialised producers that supply the heavy horse world, which continues to breed and display the various varieties.


  1. James Yates, M.A., FRS discovered Phalera on page 894 of William Smith, D.C.L., LL.D.: A Dictionary of Greek and Roman Antiquities, John Murray, London, 1875
  2. Horse Brass Collections No. 1 (1944) Henry Devonshire Birmingham
  3. National Horse Brass Society, UK

External links

  • The National Horse Brass Society, the Museum of English Rural Life’s Horse Brass collection, and the National Horse Brass Society

Classic Bells: Product overview

Horse brass straps for sleigh bells in the traditional style The strap is made of brass and has an English motif. Is it available for purchase? Yes Three modern horse brasses are accented on a black strap. Overall dimensions are 18″ long and 4 1/2″ broad. Pricing information:$92.00 USD 117.99 CAD68.79GBP82.41EUR Horse brass strap2, med brown, heraldic motif Available for sale? Yes Medium brown strap with 3 contemporary horse brasses. Overall 16″ length and 4 1/4″ broad. Price:$92.00 117.99CAD68.79GBP82.41EUR Horse brass strap4, medium brown color scheme, flowers motif Available for sale?

  1. Overall 11″ long and 3″ wide.
  2. Yes Black strap with one modern horse brass.
  3. Price:$54.00 69.26CAD40.38GBP48.37EUR DIY horse brass display strap kit Is it available for purchase?
  4. Add your own brasses to complete the strap.

Price:$39.50 50.66CAD 29.53GBP35.38EUR Antique horse brasses, set 2: animals, clovers, more quatrefoils, filigree, etc. Price:$39.50 50.66CAD29.53GBP35.38EUR Mid 1900s horse brasses Price:$19.75 25.33CAD14.77GBP17.69EUR Late 1900s and modern horse brasses Price:$19.75 25.33CAD14.77GBP17.69EUR

Show Some Brass: A Closer Look at Horse Brass

Candace Wade captured this image. Each of the homes I’ve built since 1979 has had a black leather strap adorned with horse brass medallions affixed on the mantle in the living room. My sister had brought the strap back from Scotland many years before. I had no idea what they were; all I knew was that I adored them. That’s the allure of horse brass, isn’t it? They sneak up on you and take advantage of you. A lot of my brasses came from a run-down hardware store in Limerick, Ireland.

I came across two appealing barrels of horse brass while sorting through a jumble of equine equipment.

The majority of the remaining items in my collection were acquired for a few pennies each from wayside shacks that sprung up like mushrooms along a lonely route between Armagh and Kilkenny, Ireland.

I requested her to bring a brass for me, which she did, as well as a good long strap of medallions for herself, despite the fact that she had no idea what they were.

Brief history of horse brass

The practice of trimming horses using horse brass may be traced back to the pre-Roman era (fourth to the first century BC). The majority of the early brasses were made of bronze. During the reign of Queen Elizabeth I, the first evidence of the production of brass alloy in England was discovered (1559-1603). Brass casting was first employed for ornamental purposes in the seventeenth century, although it was not exploited for this purpose until the 1700s. Horse brass medallions first emerged during this time period.

Hedgehog brass, cast in silver or gold and inlaid with semi-precious stones, was commissioned by the rich during the Renaissance period.

Motifs: echoes of pagan beliefs

Put an end to your worries of “the evil eye,” and welcome good fortune to this place! Horse brass medallions were thought to provide protection for the horses. Horses were valuable goods since they were used for employment, transportation, and warfare. Old beliefs and superstitions were included into the design of the early themes in order to safeguard the health and safety of the equine asset. The crescent moon was regarded as a lucky charm by the ancient Greeks and Romans alike. The sun god, who was worshipped by the ancient Persians, was one of the celestial emblems, and the sacrifice of a horse was a common practice to gain favor with the deity.

The lyre of Apollo, which was influenced by Greek mythology, is shown on a brass in my collection.

One of my brasses has a club pattern on it, which may have been influenced by the Romany Gypsies.

Farmers held agricultural things such as trees and barnyard birds in their possession.

The titled gentry expressed themselves with brasses with the family crest or some portrait or heraldic image such as a bear, lion, unicorn, or elephant; in hunting circles, the stag, fox, hounds, eagles, and swans were frequent symbols of wealth and privilege. Candace Wade captured this image.

How horse brasses are worn

Dray and cart horses were adorned with ten to twelve medals on their manes and tails. One or two huge brass medallions would be placed on the forehead and tied with a ribbon. The smaller brasses (2 3/4 inch in diameter) would be linked to a martingale mechanism. Bells might be used to produce a more flashy visual and auditory effect. (The horse brass pattern may be found on some of the equestrian themed Hermes scarves, which is a nod to the fact that modern ladies have been known to drape themselves in horse brass.)

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Making horse brasses

However, later horse brasses were either cast from sheets of brass or stamped from sheets of brass, whereas earlier horse brasses were totally cast in molds. The removal of the medallion from the mold was made possible by studs (getts) on the bottom of the medallion. They might be filed down or utilized to attach to the leather strap, depending on your preference. The impression of studs may even be detected on subsequent imitation brasses that were made after the fact. Stamped brass, which was lighter and less expensive than cast brass, first debuted about the 1880s and reached its peak just before World War I.


The usage of horse brass reached its zenith just before World War I and began to decline with the introduction of mechanization, which gradually supplanted the employment of horses. Modern horses still wear brasses for display, but medallions are more commonly seen as ornamental objects rather than as part of their uniform. The old brasses are highly sought-after collectibles. Though the items in my tiny collection were inexpensive, the excitement of re-discovering the “dunky” little shop in Limerick after several years and the “beautiful soft day” when we stopped off the road to see a tinker’s lonely hut are priceless memories for me.

The fact that we no longer rely on superstition to safeguard children makes me happy.

Expert information

Check out theHorse Brass Society, which is where I got much of my knowledge, as well as theBishop Bonner’s Cottage MuseumDereham Antiquarian Society, which is located in Norwich, England, for more extensive and expert information on horse brass.

Horse Brasses

The Heavy Horse Enthusiast offers a diverse and extensive selection of horse brasses, including our own designs as well as authentic historic pattern horse brasses. Upon casting, our brasses are individually fettled to remove any flash or rough edges, the fronts and backs are linished to clean the casting, they are shaped and numbered if necessary, and finally, they are meticulously polished to ensure that no detail of the design is lost in the polishing process. All of our brasses have the letter KB stamped on the back.

All of our commemorative brasses are produced in limited quantities, with each brass being individually numbered on the reverse of the brass.

Horse brasses produced in limited quantities as a commemorative item. The back of each piece is individually numbered and hand painted. These brasses are all contemporary designs that have been cast and polished to our high KB standards.

Traditional Pattern Brasses

We have a large selection of pattern brasses, all of which are modern castings that are manufactured and polished to our high KB standards. These designs are drawn from our collection of unique patterns, some of which are centuries old and others which are more contemporary.

Popular Sets and Modern Brass Designs

All of these are contemporary designs that have been cast and polished to our high KB standards. Designs that have been modelled and etched

Leathers for Hanging in the House

Horse brasses are displayed in the home with the help of decorative leather straps. The buckle is made of solid cast iron and is made of 100 percent leather. We designed them, and they have a nice, rounded edge with a tear drop form at the bottom. The leather is broad enough to allow for a visible leather edge around the brass.

Horse Brass Blank Hangers

Horse Brass Blank Hangers are handcrafted in Australia from high-quality Italian-tanned leather and finished with a solid brass buckle for a classic look. These are intended for horse brasses to be affixed to for show or for use on a harness, and they are made of brass. These are available in a variety of lengths, ranging from single brass holders to five brass hangers. Horse Brass Leather Straps, backing, and martingale are some of the other names for this item. In addition to a strap and buckle at the top for attachment to the harness, these hangers contain a dee to allow them to be hung on the wall as decorative items.

  • Display your horse brass collection in style with this display case.
  • Brasses are not included in the price.
  • If the color you choose is out of stock, we will hand manufacture one for you to your specifications.
  • Please contact us to inquire about current stock availability.
  • Custom sizes and designs are available, both plain and adorned, and may be manufactured to request; please inquire.

Horse Brass Display Piece. C1880.

Price In this case, the price is indicated in British Pounds. The rates were current as of 23/FEB/2022. Prices in EuroDollars will fluctuate and should only be used as a guideline. Always double-check the final pricing with the vendor. This price includes shipping to the United Kingdom. Shipping informationMost prices include UK shipping and packaging; however, please check the item description to ensure that this is the case. If you are a buyer from another country, please contact us for a shipping price.

In the event that an item purchased is subject to Customs duty or national taxes when it is imported into the destination country, the buyer is liable for these charges.

If the item is returned to the seller by the country of importation as a result of the buyer’s refusal to pay any duties or taxes due upon the importation of the item, the buyer is responsible for reimbursing the seller for any and all costs incurred by the seller in the return of the item to the seller, regardless of the reason for the return.

If the importation is refused by the Customs or Legal Department of the country of importation, the seller is not obligated to refund any of the money paid by the purchaser to the seller because it is the buyer’s responsibility to ensure that the import is legal.

The seller is not obligated to refund any of the money paid by the purchaser to the seller.

Horse Brass

Armac Brassworks, horse brass for the 1951 Festival of Britain, 1951 The form of this horse brass is inspired by the Festival of Britain emblem, which was developed by Abram Games. It was only one of several popular goods marketed to commemorate the occasion, which included anything from tea caddy spoons to teapots, badges to biscuit tins, among other things. Brasses like these were initially created to be used as ornaments on the harness worn by large horses in agricultural and industrial settings.

Because they reminded spectators of the draught power reliance that existed during World War II, these artifacts served to emphasize the improvement demonstrated by the cutting-edge farm technology and tractors that were on exhibit.

From the middle of the nineteenth century onward, the usage of horse brasses as harness embellishments became increasingly popular.

Their wares were embellished with royal symbols, which served to maintain the social order in which they operated.

They now adorn country bar interiors, are associated with a certain nostalgic and romantic feeling of our rural past, and have largely evolved from their original function as horse decorations to become popular collections.

Similarities may be found in the origins of The MERL Collection itself, which began in 1951 with the acquisition of a majority of its holdings from two enormous private collections, one originating with rural writer H.

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