TackAddict

Need Advice About Antique Bona Allen English Saddle

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Hello,

I just joined this group in hopes to get some help with a whole bunch of antique saddles I have. The first one in question is this beautiful, 18" English saddle. While cleaning, I found a long, engraved metal plate under the flap that reads "Bona Allen makers since 1873". It has no knee rolls and is not a cut back, flat saddle. Any help will be appreciated. Let me know if you'd like to see pictures. Thanks.

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Bonaparte Allen began his saddle company in Buford, Georgia in 1873. He was the first to mass-produce saddles. From what I can remember, when he died in 1924, he left the company to his employees. They sold through a catalog and through Sears Roebuck & Co. (Using the Sears "house name" of J.C. Higgins). At one time it was the biggest saddle maker in the country. Tandy Corporation bought Bona Allen in 1970 and moved the operation to Sweet Home, Texas. They stopped making saddles under the name Bona Allen and had a line of cowboy boots using the name, so as not to lose it.

Foxwood Manufacturing of Olney, Illinois, now owns Bona Allen and makes the saddles in Illinois.

I've worked on a lot of saddles, and Bona Allens are some of the best-made saddles I ever worked on, from the inexpensive rent string or "camp" saddles to their top-of-the-line rigs. My personal saddle is a Bona Allen.

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Hi!

Newbie, here.

I also have a vintage or antique Bona Allen saddle. When I got this saddle, I was told by an old cowboy that it was made by Bona Allen for JC Higgins and sold through Sears. I used it in the mountains for 9 years on my Qtr/Arab cross and it fit both of us beautifully.

My questions relate to it's possible age (was told 1940s), tree used by Bona Allen at that tme and any other infor that might be gleaned from the photos. Serial Numbers shown but not sure to what they refer? There is a faint circle about 2" in diameter below the horn with what appears to be JC Higgins and something else but it's been worn down.

I am going to sell it doesn't fit any of the horses I own at this time. Been holding onto it for a long time but it should be used and appreciated. It has had many repairs over the years, has new wool fleece, etc. so still has life ahead.

Thanks for any info anyone might have.

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