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Braces -  Another Type Study of Sorts
by George Langford

Brace No. 4414, attributable to the John S. Fray Co.
Brace No. 4414      B&D-51
Price: $17.00 plus shipping.

The following details tie this brace to the John S. Fray Company: The chuck, with its delicate leaf springs; the ratchet housing, daintily rounded; and the ball bearing pad (with balls hidden inside the head).

The wrist handle, originally made in two pieces and assembled onto the bow with pewter rings cast in place, is additionally cracked, but the pieces are all held securely by the rings.

The patina is a rich black, as the surface of the steel is covered uniformly with a thick layer of magnetite, a hard, adherent form of iron oxide, laid down over many years of gentle use.  Note that no ignoramus has ever tried to get an auger bit started by hammering on the ratchet housing.
Brace No.4414
The combination of hand-stamped numerals and pewter rings place the manufaturing date of this brace well before the date of my reproduction Fray catalog of 1911.
Pad view of Brace No. 4414
wrist handle
chuck jaws
Jaw arrangement