PAIR OF BRASS OFFICER’S STYLE BOX SPURS BY MAXWELL

$495.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 160-26

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The term “box” spur is derived from the use of small metal box inlet into the heel of a boot into which the central metal prong between the side bars of the spur is inserted and held by a spring or by spring tension. This eliminated the need for spur straps and made it easier to remove the spurs when dismounted. Crouch (Hist. Am. Spurs) noted that these were very popular before and during the Civil War and that most, like these, were European imports. The 1864 Schuyler, Hartley and Graham catalogue shows them, but they were widely offered by other military goods dealers.

Box spurs came in a number of styles and degrees of lavishness. This pair is meant to be functional, with flat side bars with squared ends, and long straight rectangular necks that flair just slightly to retain the brass rowels. Despite their plain form, however, the spurs would have been brightly gilt and quite showy with the rowels cast as sunbursts. Both spurs are marked “Maxwell” on the long straight neck indicating they were made by Henry Maxwell of London, a spur-making firm founded in 1750 that expanded into other horse gear, exhibited at the 1851 Great Exhibition, and is credited by some with invention of the box spur in the very early 1800s.

These are in excellent condition, unpolished, with a mellow tone, no bends, functional rowels, and just a few scratches and wear spots showing a darker brass beneath and a touch of verdigris on the top of one neck near the rowel.  They would look great with a cavalry officer’s grouping.    [sr]

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