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Saddle pommels capped broadly cylindrical protrusions at the front (pommel end) of generally post-medieval saddles. They could be held by a rider or used to retain the reins. Saddle pommels tend to be formed of two copper-alloy halves, soldered together, with a rounded end, itself sometimes with a central knop; some are of one-piece construction. Some examples have an angled attachment end, while most have perforated tabs that extend at an angle for attachment by varying numbers of separate rivets, often iron. They have the potential to be confused with scabbard chapes, but chapes do not tend to have angled attachment ends.
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Saddle pommels tend not to have much embellishment, but they were often decorated with engraved parallel grooves (see Bailey 2001, 60-61). A few examples have punched scrollwork (KENT-28C484), geometric patterns formed by punched crescents (Read 1995, 127-128; no. 809), or engraved foliage (SUR-E7D285).
Saddle pommels are generally post-medieval objects, with examples dated to the 16th and 17th centuries by Read (1995, 127-128, nos 808-810). Surviving saddles suggest use into the early 18th century, in addition.