what is it?

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geoleather67
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:49 am
Last Name: Olund

Got this in a lot of ups I bought. The way the bars were and hardware I thought it was a 1890....but its not. Any ideas?
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geoleather67
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:49 am
Last Name: Olund

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Here are some more veiws....
geoleather67
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:49 am
Last Name: Olund

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Markings.....
Larry Emrick
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Hi:
It is hard to make out from the photos, but I suspect it is a UP driver's saddle that has seen better days. One of the distinguishing features of the drivers is lack of a spoon, the projection on the back of the cantle, which facilitated carrying of kit. It was not necessary for drivers because they were expected to carry their kit on whatever vehicle was being driven. It also appears to have a large staple attached to the sideboard, which was a harness attachment point. Also, is there a leather strap or straps on the underside of the seat? That is also a feature on at least one driver I have seen.
Larry
Larry Emrick
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Hi Again:

Have a look at the drivers in the mysterious saddles post a couple down from yours. Does yours look like them?

Larry
geoleather67
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:49 am
Last Name: Olund

Hi again. Sorry about the pictures...I was just happy to post them!
On the right fender it has;
Blake&sons
west Broomstick(?)
1902
And.......
a brodarrow and 64
Left fender
14
Rfa
D5
And after looking at the pictures you have up I would say that it is a driver's saddle. No spoon and the markings I would say so
The other thing is on the underside it had the normal stringers in it but it also had two leather ones strung front to back....and looking likethey belonged. Is that normal? For bigger aartillery men?
And is it worth anything,really? Should I leave it or can I fix it up?
geoleather67
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:49 am
Last Name: Olund

Is this the proper stirrup idea for the driver saddle?
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Larry Emrick
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Hi Again:
I am pretty sure you have a driver's saddle. RFA almost certainly refers to Royal Field Artillery; West Broom.... is probably West Bromwich, which a quick google search reveals had a RFA connection. It also had - still has - a saddlery and is near Walsall, which was at the heart of the British saddlery industry throughout most of the 20th cent, so it was probably where the saddle was built.
As to the stirrup, I believe driver's stirrups are steel, thus rusted 100 years down the road, as yours appear to be. Cavalry stirrups are nickel, although I have a cavalry UP that came with steel stirrups. That in itself is meaningless, of course, because just as nowadays, riders swap stirrups and leathers. Whatever it is it appears that someone tried to fashion a trapadero, which you can take off.
The leather straps under the saddle are interesting. I have seen those on other driver saddles but do not know their purpose other than added support for the seat.
It appears to be in pretty rough shape. but it also appears to be complete, with numnahs and the stirrup(s). It would certainly be an interesting restoration project. I would start by taking it apart and keeping every scrap and screw and then start working life back into the leather with saddle soap and preservative. Don't take the tree apart but the wood could benefit from some wood wax and unless the linen is totally shot and broken I"d leave that in place until you can source some to replace it. Keep the leather straps. If you have the time and inclination it is a worthwhile project but sadly not worth very much, particularly in its current condition.
As a driver's saddle marked to the RFA it could easily have been used on a ridden gun horse and deserves to be preserved , no matter what its condition, so good luck with it.
Larry
geoleather67
Posts: 11
Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2014 6:49 am
Last Name: Olund

Thanks Larry fir the info. That one is going into the collection and I will restore it. Ive restored quite a few ups in the past but never had on like this.
Thanks for the help and the info!
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