Page:Horse shoes and horse shoeing.djvu/354

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HORSE-SHOES AND HORSE-SHOEING.

M. Delacroix,[1] since the publication of his opinion adverse to these instruments being horse-sandals, has suddenly come to the conclusion that they are ox-sandals. 'The number of these articles in the Besançon Museum has actually increased to thirty. They affect various shapes, but yet retain a single and common feature—that of an iron plate worn beneath by friction. This character was so striking, that, among others, one of our able confrères who superintends the archæological museum of the town, was looking out every day for some proof as to the use of these hippo-sandals. One of these objects was at last brought to him, having two wings bent over towards each other (fig. 128), in an acute arch, and exactly representing the foot of an ox to which it had been moulded by the hammer and wear. There could be no doubt about it; M. Vuilleret had in his hands a shoe adapted for the bovine species; he had solved the problem. I carried this article to the farriers' shops in the suburbs, where oxen are usually shod, although after a different fashion. "This," said a workman at the first glance, "is a bullock's shoe." "This object," the farmers present generally assented, "would not be worn by an ox at work or at pasture; it would confine their movements too much. But if a convoy of oxen or cows was sent along the roads, it might be of the greatest utility; for there is always in a travelling drove animals whose feet are wounded, and for whom it is necessary to have recourse to temporary shoeing." This last explanation put us on the alert in comprehending the diversity in shape of the specimens in the museum; and M. Vuilleret was not

  1. Mem. de la Soc. d'Emulation du Doubs, p. 143, 1864.