Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Parade saddles, part one

There were a lot of really amazing parade saddles in the Brian Lebel Cody Old West Auction held last month in Denver, Colorado. I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find good, detailed photos of this type of tack so I spent a lot of time in the auction preview room taking pictures. Here are a few of the better shots.

First up is this fairly basic set which was produced by Paul and Bob Brown. It features diamond and raspberry shaped conchos and is marked with the Arcadia, California mark. The headstall has engraved conchos and silver ferrules and the bit features sombrero conchos. This set sold for $3,250
This may look like a full sized saddle, but don't be fooled. The seat on this parade saddle measures just seven inches! The auction catalog describes Lot #122 this way: Striking sterling silver mounted miniature floral carved black parade saddle with 7” seat, silver rope cantle edge, sterling engraved full front including horn, 8” long tapaderos with Bohlin style silver spots, engraved silver cap and corner plates, half-elephant hide lined seat, sheepskin lined, black and white wool corona. This saddle sold for $4,750.
Next up is this unmarked parade saddle with poppy carved leather and silver conchos. This saddle was was used by a member of the Merced Silver Mounted Posse, a group that participated in George W Bush’s inaugural parade in Washington D.C. It sold for $8,500.
Close up of the horn.
The corner plates are decorated with 14k gold horseheads.
The bridle features diamond and triangle conchos, sterling silver buckles sets and a bit and reins by Olsen Nolte.
The cantle plate on the next saddle is engraved with the name Tom Mix, who is purported to be one of its earlier owners. This saddle feautres floral carved leather and sterling silver decorative plates and conchos.
Silver swells and a flat horn.
The corona blanket is attached directly to the saddle.
The breastcollar. This set also sold for $8,500.
Not all parade saddles are black! This is a two-tone brown floral carved Keyston Bros San Francisco Parade saddle. It dates back to the 1930s-40s and sold brought $9,000 at auction.
Cut-out silver initials and gold horseheads on the conchos.
Cantle plate.
The matching bridle with Crockett bit.
Detail of the browband--just look at those intricately carved conchos!
I will post pictures of the high dollar saddles tomorrow, including an absolutely stunning Bohlin set with saddle, bridle, breastcollar and serape.


  1. I love the Keyston Bros I would pick it up if I had the extra money! Gorgeous.

  2. I like that one, too. The catalog made a point of it being in good, rideable condition. All I would have to do is change the "JJ" to "JB" and I'd be ready to go!

  3. I am wondering if the 7" saddle was a possible sample show piece. I know early in the century(turn of the century) miniatures were created and carried around by salesmen to show a potential buyer what they could get if they chose to order a product.

  4. DROOL!!!! I am such a sucker for old silver parade saddles!

    Can't wait to see tomorrow's Bohlin!