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