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Randall House - Wolfville Historical Society

Collar, Horse

Accession number: 75.H.29
Date: before 1947
Materials: fibre,swamp flag;
Measurements: 75 cm L x 36 cm W x 4 cm H x 10 cm ThickWidth of wreath is 12cm; centre hole is 12cm
This horse collar was probably made by Mr. Charles Aubry Patriquin (1864-1947) who was a harness maker, naturalist, fruit grower, Town Council member, and in 1927 purchased the house the Randall House Museum now occupies. Charles' father, James G. Patriquin (1837-1882), built 2 harness making shops on Main Street, Wolfville in 1863. On his father's death, the young eighteen year old Charles took over the family business. An article in "The Acadian" dated May 6, 1887, describes the harness shop as being stocked with "quality harnesses, lap-spreads, horse boots", and a "rush team collar" that was a novelty item and "claimed to be far the best thing made". The term "rush" indicates any one of a number of aquatic or marsh plants, which could include "swamp flag". In 1899, Charles Patriquin married Sarah Craig. James Graham Patriquin was born in Tatamagouche and married Matilda Pick of Wolfville. They lived on Gaspereau Avenue and had 5 children including Charles.
Description: Long oblong collar, with centre opening 12cm wide; four or five braids of swamp flag leaves make up one wreath of the collar; another single braid is fastened on top of the main wreath; black rubber is "sewn" on top of the collar with twine halfway down each side of the collar; centre opening is narrower at the top.
History of Use: Padded horse collars encircle the horse's neck and are part of the harness that the animal presses against to help move a wagon or plough. Usually made of leather and stuffed with straw or horsehair, this item was more economically made from braided Iris Virginica, a bog plant that grows locally in abundance. "Swamp flag", as it is commonly known, grows on boggy slopes near ponds, wetlands or other bodies of water.