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National Museum of Australia

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Wicker and leather child's pony saddle

2005.0105.0140

Wicker and leather child's pony saddle

Object information

Description

This child's saddle belonged to a member of the Rutledge family from Gidleigh station near Bungendore in New South Wales.

Gidleigh was purchased by grazier Thomas Rutledge in 1875. It was one of a number of landholdings that Rutledge owned in the district. In 1874 Gidleigh was handed over to Rutledge's son, William Forster Rutledge. In 1882 when WF Rutledge registered Gidleigh as a merino stud, Australia's wool industry was booming. The property remained in the Rutledge family until 2005.

Physical description

A natural cane wicker and brown leather child's pony saddle. A wicker chair with a black leather seat is attached to a leather saddle. There are two brown leather straps attached to the chair that fasten with a one prong roller buckle to form a safety belt. The chair has a diamond pattern woven into the back that has been painted orange and green. At the bottom of the saddle there are six leather straps, three on each side attached to the wicker. Two straps hold the wicker chair to the leather saddle component and the remaining straps have evenly spaced holes for fastening with a buckle to another (now missing) component. The saddle is padded underneath and is lined with a cream wool fabric that has been stitched to form a diamond buttoning pattern. Two studs have been attached to hold a leather flap to the front of the wicker chair. The manufacturer's mark has b een stamped into the stud and reads 'WALTHER & / SYDNEY / STEVENSON LD'. The wool has holes throughout and some of the wicker is coming loose.

Statement of significance

This collection comprises over two hundred objects belonging to the Rutledge family of 'Gidleigh', a pastoralist property first established near Bungendore, NSW, in 1855. The collection includes tools used for agricultural practices, animal and household management, and equipment used for fly-fishing and horse-riding. Collectively, these objects illustrate aspects of rural life and domestic activities undertaken most notably by Jane (Jean) Ruth Morphy Forster Rutledge (1853-1932) and her son Thomas Lloyd Forster Rutledge (1889-1958) during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

This collection is illustrative of broad areas of Australian social history including pastoralism, medicine and veterinary science, and domestic and recreational lives. The land at 'Gidleigh' was first granted to Admiral Philip Parker King (1791-1856) in 1834, and was subsequently purchased in 1855 by Irish settler Thomas Rutledge (1817-1904) to run sheep and cattle. The family owned and managed the property for 150 years until 2005. This collection offers significant research potential into both rural self-sufficiency, and agricultural and veterinary technologies.

Object information

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