E615 – Hernandez bit
The engraving in this bit is characteristic of the Hernandez work. Five different Hernandez bit and spur makers were active at the end of the 19th century in the San Jose, Calif., area, all using a similar design motif; a leaf pattern with four or five parallel lines within this shape forming a distinctive and easily identifiable design. This bit has a Spade bit which was considered the standard type through the years and was preferred by the California vaquero. This spade bit has a small copper roller on the cannon and at the top of the spade. The braces of the spade bit is wire wrapped in copper, which is pleasing to the horses and it aided in promoting the flow of saliva, thus maintaining a moist mouth. These five men were Joaquin Hernandez, Frank X. Hernandez, Alonzo Hernandez, Alick M. Hernandez, and Marano Hernandez.