Saddle for Singer Ordinary on Harrington’s Patent Arab Spring c.1888

I’ve just completed re-covering this saddle for a very original Singer Ordinary ( Penny Farthing or High Bicycle ) c.1888. The bike even has its original hub lamp, ratchet hand brake and Brooks tool bag. It’s a pan saddle, meaning that the leather is stretched across a stamped sheet metal pan, and there is no means of adjustment, so its important to get the leather tight, otherwise its going to sag… as you can see from the ‘before’ picture! The pan is mounted on a Harrington’s Patent ‘Arab Spring’. In my experience, riding on one of these can be likened to sitting on a wobbly jelly… particularly disconcerting on an Ordinary! The leather has been slightly distressed to blend in with the rest of the bicycle.

R.Nagel and Co. Catalogue 1886

A very rare R.Nagel and Co. (31 Holborn Viaduct, London EC) catalogue from 1886 featuring their unique design of saddles for ordinaries, together with some other accessories. The catalogue is in virtually mint condition. The saddle cover was in two pieces, joined together by leather laces. They claim great comfort and excellent ventilation! Ventilation, yes, but not sure about comfort!! I’ve seen a couple of these saddles in poor condition on bicycles.