Large seat Western saddle with elaborately tooled seat and large leather horn. Embossed on the rear of seat and on each upper skirt: ROGERS [over] DENVER. The Denver City Directory for 1877 lists H.E. Rogers as a saddle and harness maker at 204 15th Street with residence at 468 Welton. Leather skirts are both intact, although the left skirt is folded and in worn condition. Stirrups and straps both intact. Original multi-strand natural rope girth strap is present. This saddle is from a consignor who obtained it from the family of "Antelope" Ernst Baumann of Buffalo, New York, a reknown frontier guide, hunter and scout (also see Baumann's buckskin coat and trousers.)
"Antelope" Ernst Baumann was born in Berlin in 1854 and migrated to Buffalo, New York as a young child. Drawn to the western frontier as a young man, he drifted to Denver, where he worked as a game hunter for railroad construction gangs. Known as a crack marksman, Baumann worked with William "Wild Bill" Cody and eventually signed on as a cavalry scout. He was present with Custer's 7th Cavalry during the Yellowstone Campaign of 1876 and survived the Little Big Horn massacre as part of Reno's detachment. After his scouting days, Baumann offered his services as a guide for wealthy game hunters, eventually entering the mining business. Retiring back to Buffalo in the early 1890's, the last decades of his life he operated a family butcher shop, where relics of his frontier years were proudly displayed.
Condition of tooled leather seat is excellent with some signs of wear and deterioration on attached straps and leather skirts. Mutli-strand rope girth is remarkably solid and in very good condition.