I bought this H.W. Hauser saddle from another collector who is known as an expert in saddle restoration and preservation. The saddle is in incredible condition for being more than 100 years old. What can you tell me about the saddle’s maker and value?
–DR. STEVE ENGLISH, Jacksonville, Florida
In Old Cowboy Saddles and Spurs, the book my wife Gretchen and I wrote, we list H.W. Hauser’s place of business in Salida, Colorado, from 1886 to 1902. When you first sent the photos of your saddle, I called my friend Paul Jensen, who is a saddle collector in Salida, to see if he knew anything about Hauser and your saddle, but he hadn’t heard of Hauser. I wanted to learn more about the saddlery, so in September while passing through Salida we stopped at the Salida Regional Library, where the staff was very helpful.
We found an ad for H.W. Hauser in The Salida Mail newspaper, featuring Stewarts Healing Powder, a product that Hauser sold in his store. The ad first appeared in the March 18, 1887 issue. I’d hoped there would be a photo of a Hauser saddle or his shop in other ads, but we didn’t find any. Other than newspaper ads and a listing in the Colorado State Business Directory from the 1880s there wasn’t much information on Hauser and his saddles.
The condition of your saddle is excellent. It must have been in good condition when you acquired it. It looks like all of the parts are original, and the color of the leather is nice and light, rather than heavily oiled. This is one of the most well-preserved saddles I’ve seen recently, and the rarity of the saddle is incredible.
ESTIMATED VALUE: $8,000