Image Lot Price Description


GENERAL G.A. CUSTER’S RACING SADDLE. Small rawhide covered saddle with 9” open seat, built on a light wooden frame with rounded slick fork without horn and has a low cantle. The skirts are minimal to attach belly band leathers at the front and back. There is a small slot on each side for the stirrup leathers. Only the remains of the ends of the belly band leathers are present with a few large headed brass nails. It is accompanied by a large volume of research material regarding the Custer family and Gen. Custer himself. This saddle was given to James P. Strain, of Toledo, Ohio, by Robert (Boston) Kirkpatrick, the son of Gen. Custer’s half brother, David Kirkpatrick. Robert Kirkpatrick had lived on the Strain farm from 1921 until about 1928 when, on a visit to Robert’s brother’s farm in Milan, Michigan, Robert offered James Strain a gift of a small trunk which Mr. Strain states contained several horse related items, clothing & boots which Robert stated had been the property of Gen. Custer. Strain’s father reportedly would not allow him to accept the entire trunk, but permitted him to accept just one item from it. Strain states that he had an interest in horses so chose the saddle. Later, after David Kirkpatrick passed away, the trunk disappeared into the dust of time. Mr. Strain states that the saddle had remained in his possession from about 1928 until the to present. It is a well known fact and well recorded that Gen. Custer was an aficionado of horse racing and owned several race horses. This saddle is pictured as the first illustration after page 192 in General Custer’s Thoroughbreds by Lawrence A. Frost. On the next to the last page of illustrations after page 128 is an actual photograph of “Frogtown”, Gen. Custer’s racing horse. The horse is wearing a saddle very similar to the one being offered in this auction. CONDITION: Fair. Hide covering has shrunk and split along the seam on the right side. Left side is also open but not loose and shows substantial wear along the bottom edges. Right edge has some chips out of the saddle tree wood, the right side also is missing some of its rawhide lace and the rear edge of the cantle has been mouse gnawed. A most unusual and desirable Custer collectible. 4-51594 (10,500-14,500)

Auction: Firearms - Spring 2004
Please Note: All prices include the hammer price plus the buyer’s premium, which is paid by the buyer as part of the purchase price. The prices noted here after the auction are considered unofficial and do not become official until after the 46th day.