Olsen Nolte Makers Saddle

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This saddle is modeled after traditional western designs, with a hardened wooden tree frame. The saddle is made of a black stained leather and features some steel plating and capping. This serves both as decoration and a reinforcement to the saddle’s outer structure. On the seat below the horn is a deeply engraved label, which reads: Olsen-Nolte Makers, below this the label continues, San Francisco, California. The horn is accented with a capping piece of what appears to be solid steel, but the core of the horn itself is made of wood and strengthened with hide. The previously noted steel cap on the Horn is decorated to depict the head of a horse. Steel is also used as the saddle’s conchos and is found all along the back housing, cantle, and gullet. The stirrups feature a toe guard that has been studded with steel, with a stirrup bar that rests about 30 inches below the seat. The saddle is roughly 20 inches wide, by 27 inches long. A western saddle like this would primarily be used for roping cattle and was designed to allow the rider maximum comfort during long stretches on horseback.

The Olsen-Nolte Saddlery was a short lived but successful company owned by Al Nolte and John E.Collins. Nolte, who was born in the mid-1870s, was well into his 60s when he went into business with Collins and had great experience in saddle-making. Collins had little to no experience in saddle-making but benefited the duo with his extensive business background. The pair opened their shop in San Francisco, California in 1937, and they soon gained a reputation on the west coast as supreme craftsmen within their trade. Unfortunately, within a few short years, in 1942, Al Nolte died of natural causes. The saddlery continued to thrive under John E. Collins until the mid-1950s, when he retired from the saddlery trade. This marked the end of the business.

Item #: 0269