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MODEL 1924 SUBSTITUTE CANVAS SADDLE BAGS VERY RARE US ARMY HORSE EQUIPMENT - EXCELLENT CONDITION:  The history of these rare Model 1924 Substitute Canvas Saddle Bags is one of the more clouded chapters in the story of U.S. Army horse equipment.   

One of the lessons learned by the army during the pell mell procurement and production of equipment as the US entered World War One was that certain critical materials would quickly be in short supply.  One of these war materials was leather and both the Ordnance and the Quartermaster Departments found ways to alleviate the problem with new designs and new materials.  

As indicated by the armys name for these canvas saddlebags, save for the materials from which they were made, the design was for all intent and purposes, identical to the standard Model 1924 leather saddlebags.   

At this time, there are only three sets of these Model 1924 Substitute Canvas Saddle Bags known to exist.  All three are ink stamped on the inside of both flaps, JQMD  1932, indicating they were manufactured at the Jeffersonville Quartermaster Depot.  While this date appears on all three known sets, that alone does not preclude that others could have been produced before 1932, however there are no known surviving specimens which bear an earlier date.  Adding to the mystery is the only known JQMD Quartermaster Department drawing a detailed blue print of the manufacturing pattern of these bags- is dated 1939, indicating these bags were still considered to be a viable piece of equipment on the threshold of World War Two.   

There is no known record of how many sets of these Model 1924 Substitute Canvas Saddle Bags were produced, or how many were subsequently issued.  As the horse cavalry was entering the twilight of its existence, it is unlikely many of these substitute saddlebags were issued for anything but testing for serviceability, however these sets are one of the most desirable due to their rarity.   

This set of Model 1924 Substitute Canvas Saddlebags shows no signs of having been issued or used in the field, and is in remarkably fine condition.  Both of the bags are in excellent condition, with all of the seams intact and both are complete with the closing billets and buckles. There are no signs of wear nor any holes or tears in the canvas, and only very minor soiling due to storage.  The flaps are both stenciled on the outer surface with a legible "US", and on the inside of the flaps with JQMD 1932.  The seat or yoke connecting the two bags that passes across the back of the saddle is complete with both web strap keys used to secure the saddlebags to the foot loops on the rear sidebar extensions of the saddle, and the foot loop reinforcement plates on each side, and the round reinforcement plate for the saddlebag stud on the saddle in the center, are all intact with no tearing or wear.  Both of the bag liners are present, the near side (left) bag liner having the correct utensil pockets. 

Of particular note, both sets of the original full length web tie downs straps are present on the bags.  Each bag has a shorter strap which was buckled to the D rings on the girth, and a longer strap which passed under the horse and buckled to the opposite bag.  All four straps retain their metal tips and none show any wear or fraying.  That these straps survived intact on these bags is nothing short of remarkable as they of a size that they could have been removed for so many other applications through the years.   

Very special in both rarity and condition, these unique saddle bags would be appropriate to display on any of the 20Th Century US Army Saddles for which the McClellan Saddlebags were issued, and would enhance your cavalry display to a level few collectors will attain.  (1108)  $1250

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 

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