Miles City Trophy Saddle, ca. 1914

Value (2009) | $3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction

Well, it was a prize saddle won by my grandfather in 1914, and it has just been in the family since. Actually, they had it and then I was given it.

I see, and what did he win it for?

He won it in a three-day horserace. They had to let their own horses go into a corral with all the other contestants, and then they had to go 25 yards away, run, get their horse saddled and run around the track three days in succession. And he got the fastest time and won the saddle.

Well, what that shows is that rodeo has changed a lot since 1914. Saddles were the great trophy that was awarded, and this is a great saddle. The saddle was made at Mile City Saddlery in Mile City, Montana. Now, from 1895 to 1909, a man named Coggshall ran Mile City Saddlery under his name, and then it switched to Mile City Saddlery in 1909. So this came out five years after they switched the name. It's got a lot of great design features. The name of the rodeo is across the back of the cantle with the date. It has a lot of silver alloy trim. Looks like nickel silver. It has the classic bronc image on the fender, the "Let 'er Buck" image that everybody still uses even today. And the great thing is is you've got a great picture of him riding the exact saddle in that photograph. So it's kind of a neat thing, and early rodeo saddles are not very common. They just didn't survive. And so it's really great that you guys carried this down through your family. Early rodeo material is pretty desirable. There's just not a lot of it around anymore. If it came up for auction today, easily $3,000 to $5,000.


And possibly more.

Right. Thank you.

Is there anything else I can tell you about it?

No, not really. I guess I could add that the reason he won is he had his horse trained to come when he whistled, so the horse just ran right up to him.

So he didn't have to chase him down and rope him like everybody else did.

No, he just whistled, and here came old Dan.

Appraisal Details

San Antonio, TX
Appraised value (2009)
$3,000 Auction$5,000 Auction
Denver, CO (July 25, 2009)
Tribal Arts

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.