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National Museum of Australia

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Brown leather child's saddle

2005.0105.0139

Brown leather child's 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 brown leather child's pony saddle with a dark grey wool felt lining. On each side there is faded black cotton webbing strap sewn to the saddle. The webbing straps have a further leather piece sewn on at the ends. The strap on the proper right side has a one prong roller buckle at the end and the strap on the proper left side has a leather strap with holes for fastening. In the centre front of the saddle there is a leather handle at the front. Behind the handle there is a leather piece sewn to the saddle with a metal rectangular loop attached to each side. The webbing straps show evidence of repairs and the leather piece to hold the strap at the buckle has detatched from one side. The wool felt lining is course and the surface is uneven.

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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