Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/164

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HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

three holes on each side, each hole having a kind of groove, twice as long as it is wide, to receive the similarly elongated head of the nail, and to protect it from wear, at the same time that it permits it to project considerably; the outline of the shoe is wavy (festonné), and its contour marks the situation of every hole; each branch terminates in a calkin (éponge à crampon), the whole of the projecting nail-heads and the calkins forming a level bearing-surface. The wavy outline seems to disappear quickly after the period of the destruction of ancient Besançon; five to six specimens, all having the holes counter-sunk in an oblong manner, resemble more the even margin of modern shoes. One of these pieces, the bed of which was not so accurately determined, terminates by two rapidly tapering branches, on the under surface of which the calkin was represented by a protuberance a little way from the points of the heels. Two very small shoes were pierced by only four holes each. These may have belonged to asses or mules. The metal is extremely ductile, like that of all antique horse-shoes, and very white. Some nails remaining in the holes had been curved round in the hoof, so as to form more than a circle. . . . . The number of shoes collected has been one hundred; many escaped our possession, and yet it was in an excavation of 4 feet wide that so large a quantity of these objects was found. From this numerous collection, an important fact relating to the ancient breed of horses in Sequania was immediately recognized. It is, that towards the 4th century, the size of the shoes indicate excessively small feet; not a shoe exceeds a total width of 4¾ inches. These belonged to the fine breeds of which the various provinces