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1886 PATTERN US ARMY CAVALRY GAUNTLETS – IN EXCELLENT “LIKE NEW” CONDITION – UNISSUED – SCARCE CAVALRY UNIFORM ITEM:  One of, if not the most, recognizable and classic piece of the Cavalry Trooper’s uniform, this excellent pair of 1886 Pattern Gauntlets were never issued or worn and are in “like new” condition.   

As a standard item of issue, these goat skin gauntlets were first introduced to the Indian War Army with the 1884 Pattern Gauntlets.  Within a very short period of time it was discovered that the silk thread with which they were assembled reacted poorly with the tanning chemicals in the leather, causing the seams to fail rendering the gauntlets useless.  The specifications were changed and the 1886 Pattern Gauntlets were ordered assembled with cotton thread with the addition of welts in the seams of the thumb and fingers.  These welts, as are incorporated in this set, provide for a ready identification between the 1884 and 1886 patterns.  While the thread for assembling the gauntlets was changed from silk to cotton, the silk thread was retained for the decorative stitching on the cuffs and the three seams on the back of the hand of the gauntlet.   

This particular pair was manufactured under the army’s final order for gauntlets – the Contract of 1904.  Legibly ink stamped inside both cuffs is the maker’s information, “THE DANIEL HAYES COMPANY, Gloversville, N.Y., Contract Oct. 29th 1904”.   The interior of the left cuff is also ink stamped with the accepting authority and the inspector’s name, “Q.M.D. PHILA., T.W. RODRIGO.”  Inside the right gauntlet the original Quartermaster size tag, similar to those circular tags seen more often on the Model 1881 and 1889 Summer Helmets, still remains on the lining.  Attached with a spot of spirit gum, these size tags did not survive even the most casual wear.  Inside the hand portion of the left gauntlet is ink stamped the numeral “16”, which I believe was applied during the manufacturing process and indicates the identity of the piece worker who made them in order that he received credit towards his pay check.  

This pair shows no evidence of use or wear, and the goat skin still retains the nap of the leather over all the surfaces.  There are no wear spots or soiling, and the correct russet glove leather lining in each cuff shows no staining or wear.  All of the seams are intact as is all of the decorative stitching.   

As seen in any number of period photographs, these gauntlets were obviously popular with the soldiers in the cavalry.  Not only were they practical in that they protected the soldiers’ hands, but I’m quite sure the troopers regarded this specialized issue of uniform as a mark of distinction that set them apart from other enlisted men.  As a direct result of their popularity and constant use, and the relative small branch of the army to whom they were issued, these gauntlets did not survive in large numbers and they are not often available on the market.  Certainly, not in this “like new” condition.   

This pair will be a notable addition to a cavalry collection and would present well displayed with a uniform grouping, a plumed dress helmet, or alongside your inspected Colt Single Action pistol.  SOLD


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