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Recently I received this grand old Fred Mueller saddle, circa 1910, from a private Oklahoma collector's estate. Hard to find these good old types any longer, this is an originalbear trap with a 5 1/2 inch drop on the cantle, an unusual 15 inch seat, and huge 15 1/2 inch deeply cut under swells.It is tight and intact. It really looks as though it has had fairly recent use. The heavy diamond patterned mohair girth is large, old, but in very good condition.
There is a huge brass ring for the girth, and it is marked Hercules Bronze, patterned 4 -6 -1910, which is probably an accurate approximated date for the saddle. The bottom skirts have a huge downward swoop to them, and are all tight.
The fenders are clearly marked Fred Mueller, maker, Denver Colorado.
Fred Mueller ran his saddlery from 1891 to 1917, after which time he generously sold it to his employees. He is well known to collectors and users as building an extremely rugged, solid using saddle.
There have been a few repairs over the years, not many, the saddle is basically original. The outside stirrup leathers, and the fenders are original. The backside of the stirrup leathers have a recent quality replacement...perhaps done to lengthen them at the same time. They are marked TexTan. The offside has had a piece of leather sewn in at the level of the girth ring to strengthen that area....it is a repair of some age and the leather blends well with the original leather.
There are marks on the top of the pommel on one side that look to be where a horse hasmade a littlechomp (probably jealous of the horse beside him, because hewas wearingan original Fred Mueller!) These are old marks, and are well blended into the leather. Not serious. There are a few other blemishes in places, nothing large. There is surface crackingon the saddle, mostly on the fenders. still solid.
All of the conchos, leather and silver, seem present. The leather conchos may not be original everywhere. The latigo straps are long and good. The fleece is real, it shows signs of being partially replaced, there are some little loose tufts, and a bare spot about 1/2 inch by 3 inches at the very top of the skirts. The fleece is 97% present and good.
Please look carefully at the pictures in case I have forgotten something the camera has shown. I am happy to answer any questions. The saddle does sell as is, is an antique, and will have dings and scratches consistent with life around a horse. It is, in my opinion, in excellent shape for its age! Before using, please check it carefully, I think it is fine, but I am by no means an expert.