Vintage Pommel Horses
Vintage Pommel Horses are original items of gymnastics apparatus used specifically by male gymnasts.
Brief history and description
The pommel horse was originally designed nearly 600 years ago as a tool to help educate Roman Army soldiers on how to mount onto a horse.
The top of a pommel horse has two upright handles which are bolted to a padded surface. The gymnast then holds on to the handles as he swings his legs around the different parts of the apparatus.
Older versions of pommel horses were made with metal frames and wooden bodies with leather covers, however, modern versions of pommel horses now feature metal bodies covered with foam rubber, leather and plastic handles.
Pommel horses which were crafted during the 1920s tend to feature a sleeker design with the lower sections of the apparatus curving upwards, while pommel horses which were crafted between the 1930s and 1950s are typically flatter in shape. Pommel horses from the 1970s are generally plastic and machine-made.
Today it is quite common to come across a vintage pommel horse which has since been re-crafted into a bench, stool or chair.
Guide for collectors
Pommel horses which feature unique designs or engravings are considered to be the most rare and valuable. Pommel horses which still feature their original leather or wooden parts are also considered to be both rare and valuable.
Restoration of a vintage pommel horse is recommended, but only if there is noticeable damage. However, restoring a pommel horse may decrease its value.
Zur Schönen Linde's official website has a collection of furniture items which were crafted from old pommel horses.
Kamelot Auctions in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania sold a vintage pommel horse with Belgian leather parts and wooden legs (circa 1910; 42" x 60" x 28") for $400 in June of 2011.
Rago Arts and Auction Center in Lambertville, New Jersey sold a cast iron and leather porter athletic pommel horse (41'' x 45'' x 35'') for $325 in April of 2011.
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