Linda started her equestrian art collection in 1978 when her mother gave her an antique horse brass, a small plaque that hangs from a horse’s harness gear. Linda has visited horse and antiques shows throughout the years collecting equestrian paintings, etchings, figurines, busts, and dishware along with numerous antique horse brasses. To bring her collection to its full potential, Linda enlisted the help of interior designer Mary Ruth Caldwell of Caldwell Flake Interiors. “Mary has a way of arranging things to make them look elegant,” Linda says. “If it weren’t for her, people would probably walk in my home and mistake it for a barn.”
One of the most popular equestrian collectibles, a horse brass holds either a family crest or symbol to signify the place of origin, trade, or passion of the horse’s owner—often grouped together on a strip of leather to tell a story. Some brasses from earlier periods hold designs and shapes believed to ward off evil and bring good luck. A full set for one horse consists of 10 to 12 brasses: the facepiece (one or two large ones to hang on the forehead) and a number of smaller brasses to hang from leather straps on either side of the horse’s body.