Western Saddle Marks

Most manufacturers and saddle makers will place their mark on their saddles. While the mark can be placed anywhere, the most common locations are on the latigo holder, the seat, behind the cantle where the back jockeys meet, and on the fenders.

You can see examples of marks in each of these positions in the photos below.

Some makers will also include their mark on the saddle hardware or on a metal tag or plate attached to the saddle.

Manufacturers and saddle makers will often inlcude a serial number and/or a date of manufacture. The date is often configured in a way that needs a bit of deciphering  – for instance, 9804 could represent April of 1998.

 

mark-martin.jpg mark-chavez2.jpg
mark-chavez.jpg mark-courts.jpg

 

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Comments

5 Responses to “Western Saddle Marks”
  1. JOHN WELCH says:

    I HAVE A HOWELL SADDLE, THE LEATHER WORK IS VERY DETAILED . HAVE YOU EVER HEARD OF HOWELL SADDLE CO OF HAYWARD CA. IF NOT HOW COULD I FIND OUT SOMTHING ABOUT THEAT CO.

  2. Belinda McMillian says:

    Good evening, A lady from my church has a saddle that her daughter bought and used for a short while and now wants to sell it. It is marked Fletch Whitlow but I could not make out the other markings on it. They are both on the latigo holder and the fender.Across the cantle edge it is imprinted Gwen Gadbaw. I have googled and dogpiled these names but haven’t been able to find out anything. Any help is appreciated.She is needing to get an idea of a selling price. This saddle has been covered and kept inside. It is in excellent condition.

  3. Saddle Sense says:

    Belinda,
    Folks are usually very disappointed to discover that very few vintage saddles are worth much money. The saddle has to very special – from a prominent maker and rare, no repairs (any repairs lessens the value), owned by a prominent person, etc. to really have value. There are literally thousands of vintage saddles still floating around today.

    My saddle maker’s book tells me that Fletcher Whitlow was a saddle maker at Porter’s in Phoenix, AZ prior to 1965. Porter’s is a famous saddlery that is still operating today. You might want to try contacting them.

  4. TJ Augustyn says:

    Good day! I have a saddle that is very old. I have found one mark/stamp, but the saddle is so old that it’s very hard to make out what it is. The tree on this saddle is wood, the stiching is leather, brass rivits, metal o-rings and wood stir-ups. When you handle this saddle it feels like it’s going to break for the leather is super dry, and very thin. I’m trying to determine what kind, who made it and if it has any kind of value? I can send a pict of the mark at a later date if you are interested in helping me to determine what I’m dealing with. Thank you for your time and interest.

  5. Saddle Sense says:

    Unfortunately, we do not have the resources to respond to requests from folks researching specific saddles, saddle makers, or brands.

    There have been thousands of makers through the years and very little information is available on any but the most famous brands (i.e. Heiser, Hamley, Porter, etc) We recommend searching the Internet, or you’ll also find a limited amount of information about a finite number of saddle makers in the book, Old Cowboy Saddles and Spurs, Seventh Edition by Gretchen and Mike Graham, available from Amazon.

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