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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
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GOOD MORNING ALL!!! I'M DESPERATE TO FIND OUT WHAT I'VE GOT HERE! I BOUGHT TWO SADDLE "FLAPS"? AT AN ONLINE AUCTION , ONLY BEING ABLE TO SEE ONE SIDE OF BOTH SADDLES. WHEN I RECEIVED THEM , I WAS FLABBERGASTED TO FIND THE BRASS LETTERING AND EMBELLISHMENTS ON THE BLIND SIDES OF THE PIECES!!! THE LETTERING HAS LARGE LETTERS "MD" OVER " URMSTON" AT BOTTOM OF FLAPS!! I KNOW LESS THAN NOTHING ABOUT SADDLES , AND EVEN LESS ABOUT MILITARY ONES WITH LARGE LETTERING!!! AND THE LETTERING IS ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE SADDLES!!! ANY INFO WOULD BE GREATLY APPRECIATED, AND THANKS AHEAD OF TIME!!! I HOPE PICS WILL FOLLOW!!
 

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Only a guess -
MD in Military abbreviations has a lot of meanings but could be Military District or Division in this case.

The only connection I can find between Military and Urmston that might fit with a cavalry saddle is Fort Urmston In Virginia
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you for responding! I think you're probably right! The auction from where I purchased them was in Ohio.
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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Only a guess -
MD in Military abbreviations has a lot of meanings but could be Military District or Division in this case.

The only connection I can find between Military and Urmston that might fit with a cavalry saddle is Fort Urmston In Virginia
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I really appreciate the help!!! Would they possibly have been used for parades or something else? Looks VICTORIAN too, so I guess the time period is right. Thanks again for the help!!
 

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I’m not able to find out much at all but maybe one of our members, @bsms who has done a lot of reading about the US cavalry might be able to help
 

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If you contact a military reenactment unit, cavalry...those members might know some secrets or information rarely known.
I had a friend who did this and his knowledge of old saddles is incredible....sadly, no longer do I know how to contact him nor where his "regiment/group" does any trainings at....I've just lost track of him...
🐴....
 

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Why do you think that's part of a military saddle? I don't see anything about it that specifically suggests it's military. It would be very unusual for a military saddle to be decorated in that way. However, a lot of military saddles were surplussed off after WW1 and a civilian owner might decorate it.
 

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Why do you think that's part of a military saddle? I don't see anything about it that specifically suggests it's military. It would be very unusual for a military saddle to be decorated in that way. However, a lot of military saddles were surplussed off after WW1 and a civilian owner might decorate it.
Just taking some rough guesses here.

MD would translate to 1500 if the letters represent Roman numerals.

This is not a saddle, but a cover of some type. The holes correspond to where stirrup leathers would pass through.

The placement of the lettering would proclude the use of a surcingle. Meaning that, unless there are attachment straps on the underside, it would be held in place by the weight of the rider and the stirrups.

That this is a pair, with the lettering on opposite sides indicates they may have been used on a team harnessed to a caisson, or a carriage.



If used on carriage horses, they may not be military, but for a wealthy family.

Just throwing some things out there. Hope it helps some.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
MY FIRST INCLINATION WAS THAT THEY WERE USED ON A TEAM BEING THAT THE LETTERING WAS ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE SADDLES/FLAPS/COVERS. UNDERNEATH VERTICAL SLOTS , WHICH ARE SHAPED DIFFERENTLY THAN ANY OTHERS I'VE SEEN, SHOW PRESSURE (DEPRESSIONS) AND WEAR ON THE BOTTOM AND LEADING EDGE OF THE SLOTS. COULD THEY MAYBE HAVE BEEN HUNG ON HAMES??? THERE'S NO STRAPS UNDERNEATH. PICS TO FOLLOW. OH, AND WHAT ABOUT A MILITARY CAISON WITH DIVISION ID ON FLAPS/ COVERS/ SADDLES??? FORT URMSTON WAS IN VACINITY OF AUCTION HOUSE???? THANKS FOR BRAINSTORMING ON THIS MYSTERY!!!
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YEAH, LIKE A DOCTOR IN URMSTON??? MAYBE. FOR TWO HORSES PULLING A CARRIAGE?
If you dismiss any military connections, Urmston is in Lancashire UK.
The items could have been brought over to the US by someone
 

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The only Fort Urmston I could find was a section of the Union siege lines around Petersburg, Virginia. It was active for only about 6 months, and abandoned when the Confederates began their final retreat.

It was an artillery emplacement. I don’t know what type of guns were there, or how the army transported heavy artillery. Possibly with heavy harness requiring collars and hames.

But the brief life of that fort would make me skeptical that any decorative horse tack would have been made for it.

The shape of the holes, and the wear pattern does suggest that it was hung over hames. Perhaps a fire department? Again, I don’t know what type of harness was used to pull the fire engines.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The only Fort Urmston I could find was a section of the Union siege lines around Petersburg, Virginia. It was active for only about 6 months, and abandoned when the Confederates began their final retreat.

It was an artillery emplacement. I don’t know what type of guns were there, or how the army transported heavy artillery. Possibly with heavy harness requiring collars and hames.

But the brief life of that fort would make me skeptical that any decorative horse tack would have been made for it.

The shape of the holes, and the wear pattern does suggest that it was hung over hames. Perhaps a fire department? Again, I don’t know what type of harness was used to pull the fire engines.
VERY INTERESTING!!! DIDN'T KNOW THAT FORT URMSTON WAS SO SHORT LIVED. THE FIRE DEPT IDEA HAS WEIGHT TOO. Would love to see some photographic evidence of anything being hung on a hames for identification or pomp!!! It does have the look of a fire department swag during the VICTORIAN ERA! I'll have to research some old fire equipment from that era! If they're from England then It's a whole different ballgame trying to figure out what they would have used them for. Thanks for your theories and for expanding on the possibilities!!! Ron
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
If you dismiss any military connections, Urmston is in Lancashire UK.
The items could have been brought over to the US by someone
Yes, my first stab at research lead me to England. If the lettering had "FD" INSTEAD OF "MD" I WOULD LEAN HEAVILY TOWARDS THIS BEING FIRE DEPT RELATED! MAYBE THE MD IS MILITARY DISTRICT OR DIVISION AS JAYDEE SUGGESTED! THANKS FOR BRAINSTORMING!!! RON
 

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Yes, my first stab at research lead me to England. If the lettering had "FD" INSTEAD OF "MD" I WOULD LEAN HEAVILY TOWARDS THIS BEING FIRE DEPT RELATED! MAYBE THE MD IS MILITARY DISTRICT OR DIVISION AS JAYDEE SUGGESTED! THANKS FOR BRAINSTORMING!!! RON
I think there was a nursing home for injured soldiers in Urmston UK, a lot of US military were hospitalized in theaters area during the war years
 
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