A very scarce pair of saddle bags in russet leather and metal finished with brown lacquer.
This pair of Model 1896 saddle bags are dated 1903, and most likely the last of the ’96 production, as the new 1904 model was introduced in the next year. The yoke, the section of leather that connects the two bags is still one piece (two sections in the 1904 model). Marked and dated “ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL / 1903 / H.E.K.”
Complete with the original pair of canvas liners. All the straps are supple, including the tie down leathers and rings. All metal is japanned with brown lacquer finish, another scarce feature in these bags. One side shows a bit more wear with some very minor paint drops (much I have removed in cleaning). On one of the bags in the upper left hand corner, some rot has occurred, eating through the leather and affecting the canvas liner beneath (along with some staining to the inside of the liner.
Overall, a scarce set of bags in very good – fine condition. (I’m being harsh).