When I received this amazing photo I had a couple of big surprises. One, is that it was such a large format on very heavy backing like a cabinet card. Two, when I converted this damaged sepia toned image to black and white and brought in more contrast, not only did the detailed leather harness show up, but some sort of matching head gear was revealed in the process. It doesn’t seem to be a muzzle per se, as on both sides of the face (see enlargement below) the leather straps seem to lead into the mouth like a “bit” a horse would wear. I see no obvious signs of retouch had the leather gone over the muzzle as well.
If any of my readers can identify this unique piece of dog gear I would great appreciate any information. I did an extensive search and also contacted the Leeds Castle Dog collar museum in Kent England to ask their opinion.
It looks a little like Western style bridle (example above) A brow band could very well be tucked into the coat on the chow. Just below the left ear you can see what might me shiny studs and the hair compressed down some