Saddle-bag of dark-coloured hide embroidered with scroll hatched 3-leaf and double-curved designs in red white and blue Moose-hair. [E.S-R 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 7/1/2005]
Place details: N AMERICA. USA. Unknown. Cultural Group: NE Woodlands Iroquois Wendat Local Name: Unknown. Materials: Animal Skin / Moose Hair / Animal Sinew / Yarn / ?. Processes: Embroidered / Stitched / Appliqué / Dyed / ?. Dimensions: Max L [without tassels] = 930 mm Max W = 265 mm Maker: Unknown Field Collector: Unknown When Collected: ?Prior to 1880 Other Owners: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers. This object was listed in the Delivery Catalogue as having been transferred from South Kensington Museum in 1884. It was delivered to South Kensington Museum in February 1880. It was probably displayed at South Kensington Museum between 1880 - 1884. PRM Source: Augustus Henry Lane Fox Pitt Rivers founding collection Acquired: Donated 1884 PR No.: 16/ 10513 Documentation: Correspondence With Prof F.G. Speck Sept. 1942. Also label PRM Image: PR 91 H DCF 04-06 Digital Ref Photo 7/1/2005; CD48.10 (June 2007) CD50.5 (Dec. 2007); CD96.1 (2007), CD110.6 (Feb 2013)
KEYWORD: Saddle Bag / CLASS: Animal Gear / Bag / ?.
Object description: Saddle-bag of dark-coloured hide embroidered with scroll hatched 3-leaf and double-curved designs in red white and blue Moose-hair. Hide fringing along the edges of the saddle bag. [E.S-R 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 7/1/2005]
Accession Book IV entry - 1884.53.1 - 32 Horse etc Trappings and Furniture - Embroidered saddle-bags N American Indian
Added Accession Book IV entry - Reindexed as N Am E Woodlands area Iroquois Indians Saddle-bag of dark-coloured skin embroidered with scroll hatched 3-leaf and double-curved designs in red white and blue Moose-hair Structural stitching in sinew moose-hair sewn with commercial thread L = 40" width of pouches 11" Prof FG Speck Univ of Pennsylvania supporting the identification as Iroquois describes this specimen as unique in his experience (correspondence Sept 1942) (Gest) [LM]
Delivery Catalogue I entry - Miscellaneous objects principally wearing apparel Case 69 Saddle bags ( N American Indian) not no'd [sic]
'Green book' entry - South Kensington Receipts, 17 February 1880 - 1 pair of saddle bags
Pitt Rivers Museum label - NORTH AMERICA EASTERN WOODLANDS IROQUOIS. Saddlebags. Original Pitt Rivers Museum Collection (16/10513) 1884.53.31 [E.S-R 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 7/1/2005]
Related Documents File - See RDF for old label for objects in this collection. [E.S-R 'DCF 2004-2006 What's Upstairs?' 21/12/2004]
Display history: Displayed in South Kensington Museum (V&A).
Loaned to the Art and Exhibition Hall of the Federal Republic of Germany, Bonn, for the exhibition On the Trails of the Iroquois, from 22 March to 4 August 2013. For details of accompanying catalogue, see under Publications. [FB 03/04/2013; JC 3 2 2016]
Publications history, trails & websites: Illustrated in black and white as Plate XII, B in Hair Embroidery in Siberia and North America by Geoffrey Turner (Oxford: Pitt Rivers Museum, University of Oxford, Occasional Paper on Technology, 7). The illustration is captioned (page 78) as follows: 'Double saddle-bag of heavy (?moose) skin dyed greenish-brown. Moose hair embroidery in red, white, and blue. Max. width 27 cm. excluding fringe. Attributed to Iroquois. PRM: P.R. IV.116.31.' [MJD 19/08/2011]
Illustrated in colour and listed as catalogue number 260 on page 171 of On the Trails of the Iroquois, edited by Sylvia R. Kasprycki (transl. Christian E. Feest) (Bonn: Kunst-und Ausstellungshalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland, 2013). Catalogue entry (pages 124-5): '260 Saddle bag | Iroquois or Huron, late 18th/early 19th century | Leather, moosehair, sinew, yarn | H (with carrying strap) 93, W 26.5 cm | Pitt Rivers Museum, Oxford, cat. no. 1884.53.31 (Pitt Rivers coll.) | Stylized floral patterns in linear moosehair appliqué on leather are in the nineteenth century primarily associated with the Huron (Wendat). There are, however, indications that both style and technique are also practiced by the Iroquois. C[hristian].F[eest].' [FB 08/04/2013; JC 4 2 2016]
Research notes: Examined by the GRASAC research team on 10 December 2007 as part of a research project to create a digital database. This will incorporate information about collections of indigenous material culture from the Great Lakes region of North America that are housed in a number of museums on several continents; see https://icslac.carleton.ca/grasac/. The group noted the saddle-bag is made of blackened hide (smoked or dyed), there is some fading across the surface. The moosehair is dyed red, blue, white, yellow and green/blue. The fringe is interesting in the way it applied, it sticks up into the interior of the pouch and has been sewn into the seam, there is a binding of hide that wraps around from back to front. Both pockets are made from two pieces, one for the front, one for the back, creating double thickness. The motifs include cross hatch diamonds across the central spine with a large bold zigzag design around the border of the pockets and the central band. The pockets have multi-lobed semi-floral motifs and a horseshoe band of wavy lines. There appear to be no signs of wear indicating the saddle-bag has not been used. The size of the saddle-bag suggests that it is either suitable for use on a pony or small horse if attached to the D-rings at the back of a saddle, like most North American saddlebags, or it is meant to be placed on the shoulders of the horse infront of the saddle, which fits with the shape. The Accession Book describes this as Iroquois probably because of their use of horses and the cross-hatching design. However Ruth Phillips thought it could equally be Wendat because of the cut of the hide and the style, which is very similar to 1884.92.17. Phillips dated the saddlebag as made between 1790 and 1840. [for information on Project see researchers file GRASAC]. [ZM 19/12/2007] [L Peers 16/01/2008]
Other information: These have been matched against the delivery catalogue entry because there are no other saddle bags from N America in the collections, however they do appear to have a fraction number [AP Leverhulme project on founding collection 1995-1998]