Leather Crafting

How to Tell the Age of a Bona Allen Saddle

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Vintage Western Saddle Bona Allen

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Cracking The Code:How to Tell the Age of a Bona Allen Saddle

There is no clear and definitive method for determining the age of a Bona Allen saddle. Information available is based on the personal observations and experiences of individuals who have owned or currently own such saddles.

Some sources suggest looking for markings such as letters “BA” or serial numbers stamped on the shield joining the rear skirts, measuring the tree from the pommel to the cantle, or looking at features such as the tree, bars, and seat type, but there is no certainty that these methods will yield accurate results.

Some Bona Allen saddle owners believe their saddle is from the 1950s, but the stamp is worn off, and others bought their saddle from an old farmer in 1973 and it was already 20 years old at that time. Based on the information provided, it may be hard to determine the age of a Bona Allen saddle. However, it’s possible to get an approximate idea of its age by checking the wear and tear of the leather, stitching, and other materials, or comparing it to examples of known vintage Bona Allen saddles to see if it looks like antique or not.

A Bona Allen saddle is a brand of saddle that was made by the Bona Allen Company, which was owned by Bonaparte Allen Sr. and closed in 1981 after a fire. Keep in mind, any saddle produced after 1981 cannot be a genuine Bona Allen saddle as the company closed that year after a fire.

Bona Allen Saddle

Want to know how to tell the age of a bona allen saddle then read on. Bona Allen saddles are indeed some of the best. They are trail saddles and not roping saddles, and they generally cost from $200 to $350, depending on the condition of the saddle and even your location. If you’re trying to figure out how to tell the age of a Bona Allen saddle, just know that you may not get an exact age. By following a few tips, you can certainly come close. These western saddles have serial numbers on them, and once you learn what to look for in those numbers, you’ll come to a lot closer to finding out how old they are.

Where to Find the Serial Numbers on a Western Saddle

Western saddle makers generally put the serial number in one of several places. These can include a stamp on the under-flap of the saddle or a number sewn on the tag that’s a part of the saddle. There are flaps on your saddle that come in various lengths, and they are numbered from 1 to 5. The number 1 is the shortest length. After the number comes a letter that describes the angle of the flap. For instance, the letter L indicates a standard, straighter flap, while the letter C means the flap is more forward.

The makers of the saddles also put their official mark on these products, and you can find it in one of three places: the latigo holder, either on the fenders or behind the cantle; on the metal tag somewhere on the saddle; or underneath the flap on the seat. Some also place it on the seat itself, but the good news is that it’s usually very simple to find if you just spend a few minutes looking.

Western Saddle Serial Numbers: What They Can Indicate

If you have a western saddle that was made in the year 2006 or later, this is how the serial number breaks down:

  • First 4 digits: the style number
  • The 5th digit: the material and color of the seat
  • The 6th and 7th digits: the size of the saddle seat
  • The 8th digit: the saddle color
  • The 9th and 10th digits: the size tree that the saddle has

The serial number to newer saddles (since 2006) looks like this: 1234-5678-90. If you find a serial number that looks like this: 1234-5678-90AB-CD, it usually means the saddle was made between 1990 and 2005. If your saddle has a serial number that doesn’t look like either of these numbers, it is a saddle made prior to 1990, so it is a very old saddle. These saddles have 10 digits and two sets of two letters, which represent:

  • First 4 digits: the style number
  • The 5th digit: the material and color of the seat
  • The 6th and 7th digits: the size of the saddle seat
  • The 8th digit: the saddle color
  • The 9th and 10th digits: the month the saddle was manufactured
  • The 11th and 12th digits: the last two digits of the year the saddle was manufactured
  • The 13th and 14th digits: these are added whenever identical (multiple) saddles are manufactured at the same time

What If the Saddle was Made from 1970 to the 1990s?

Saddles that were made after 1970 but before the 1990s usually have a 3-digit style number for the first three digits, and this is the serial number. They may also have a fourth digit, which usually indicates the size of the seat. If your saddle has a 2-digit number as the start of your serial number, this means the saddle is extremely old and manufactured prior to 1970.

Indeed, determining the exact age of any saddle is often a challenge, with even some experts having a hard time figuring this out. If your saddle is more than 20 years old, it is possible you’ll only be able to determine an estimated age or date. Fortunately, the name and logo of the manufacturer is always found in plain sight on the saddle, and once you know this information, you can always contact the company if you have any questions about your own saddle.

And this is easier to do than ever before, thanks to the Internet that allows you to contact the company directly and get some assistance in decoding the numbers on your saddle.

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    Cracking The Code:How to Tell the Age of a Bona Allen Saddle There is no clear and definitive method for determining the age of a Bona Allen saddle. Information available is based on the personal observations and experiences of individuals who have owned or currently own such saddles. Some sources suggest looking for markings such […]

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