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MODEL 1904 OFFICER’S SERVICE SADDLE CLOTH:  As described in the Ordnance Department Manual No. 1719, Horse Equipments and Equipments for Officers and Enlisted Men, dated 1905, this Model 1904 Officer’s Service Saddle Cloth has survived in very displayable condition.    

The drab duck material still retains the rigid, sized nature of the fabric when it was new, and the Saddle Cloth is not misshapen.  The fabric does show evidence of use with some light stains from the imprint of the saddle and the where the stirrup and girthing straps hung down across the lower front corners, and the presence of matching sets of small holes at each of the lower rear corners where the officer’s regimental or branch of service insignia were attached.  The khaki duck retains its original color and is overall solid.  There are some wear points adjacent to one side of the leather spine where it appears the cloth was stored over a narrow rod, however these points are not noticeable when the cloth is displayed under a saddle.  The russet leather spine is fully intact and all the seams are intact and strong.  The russet leather trim around the edge of the cloth shows some isolated areas of wear to the edges as are shown in the photos – those areas with the greatest wear being shown to give you a fair idea of the extent of these areas – however, the greatest majority of the trim is in very good condition and intact.     

Having handled dozens of these saddle cloths held in museum and private collections in the course of the research for The American Military Saddle 1776-1945, it was quite apparent that these cloths were subjected to heavy use and wear.  Understandably, the thorough soaking of horse sweat and the accumulated and concentrated deposits of body salts from the horse rendered these cloths especially prone to deterioration and eventual disposal.  Hence, surviving examples of these cloths in any condition are not common today, making those worthy of displaying relatively scarce. 

This is a very respectable specimen of the Model 1904 Leather Saddle Cloth which will display very nicely under your saddle. (0234)  $495



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