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Jodhpurs Nr. 36 – Vintage Advertising: Kauffman & Sons Saddlery

February 5th, 2010 · 5 Comments · Jodhpurs

Jodhpurs Photograph Nr. 36 by unknown model posing for the Kauffman & Sons* Catalogue in the 1930s. Tailoring by Nardi.

Funny how you can find similar riding boots at Hermès and shop Bottega Veneta for same-style belt.

*For years, Kauffman & Sons Saddlery was a New York Landmark. In 1875, the very same year the Coaching Club was born, a Prussian immigrant named Herman Kauffmann set up shop in lower Manhattan, supplying harnesses for the nags that pulled police carts and fire wagons.
Almost 50 years later, in 1923, H. Kauffman & Sons Saddlery Co. opened at 139 East 24th Street and became one of the largest retailers of riding equipment in the country. It remained there until 1991, when Baruch College acquired the property.
Hermans’ son Isidor Kauffman’s died in 1947. His obituary mentioned that the company “boasted as customers some of the most prominent families in the nation.”
Together with the Miller Harness Company, an equally well known and well stocked tack shop and horse haberdashery a few doors down, Kauffman’s made the block on East 24th Street the equine epicenter of New York.
Bernard Kauffman (1905-2004) constituted the third generation in the business. Bernard Kauffman’s son, Charles Kauffman, was head of the business in 1991 when Kauffman’s left their 24th St. location.
The following was reported in the New York Times (3 March 1991): “One of New York City’s oldest specialty retailers, H. Kauffman & Sons Saddlery Company, is continuing a long evolution uptown and upscale. The purveyor of saddles, boots, riding crops and other equestrian goods, which opened in 1875 on Division Street on the Lower East Side, plans to leave its current 24th Street location and open a new store by May 1 at 419 Park Avenue South, at the corner of 29th Street. Charles Kauffman, chief executive of the family-owned retailer, said the move has been prompted in part by the uncertain future of stores [the store's] current location, a two-story Beaux-Arts building at 139 East 24th Street, between Third and Lexington Avenues. Although preservationists have begun a campaign to have it protected by the city as an historic landmark … it has been slated for demolition by Baruch College, which has its main campus on the same block and wants to expand. Kauffman & Sons has leased space since 1925 in the building, which is currently owned by the L. B. Oil Company of New York. L. B. Oil has agreed to sell it to Baruch…”
Sadly, as of December 2008 the successors to Kauffman’s were a mail-order and internet business.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Robert Fox // Sep 22, 2011 at 6:53 pm

    More than 50 years ago I discovered Kauffman and sons, the stable at Central Park West and 67th street and scored a rent controlled apartment at the corner of 68 and CPW. As a newcomer to NYC and recent Korean War Vet, riding in the park each morning (sometimes chatting with the mounted police) led me into a lifelong love affair with New York City. I’m 82 now, but remember vividly shopping for my entire kit at Kauffman’s with the help of a true gentleman who helped me with my purchases.

  • 2 Larry // Oct 25, 2011 at 5:10 am

    My mom introduced me to Mr. Kaufman at the store sometimes in the 70’s. He was an old man and i remember he was walking around the store. He took a bolo tie after our introduction and put it around my neck. It was a wonderful experience i still remember 40 years ago.

  • 3 Ettore Pellecchia Pescara Italy // Dec 27, 2012 at 12:35 pm

    In 1960, when I was 15, I wrote to Levi Strauss & Co, Battery Str., San Francisco in the hope of buying a pair of Levi jeans which, then, nobody could find in Italy. Mr.Richard Ratliff, manager of L.S.& Co., addressed me(his letter of July 13,1960)to H.Kaufman & Son, 139 E.24th Str.New York. This company, with rare and extreme politeness, took me(a boy) in earnest, sending me their western catalogue and, after a while, a pair of Levi 501 zxx($ 3,95 plus 1 $ for postage and handling). Now I am 68 and, after 53 years, I still remember this extraordinary way of doing and conceiving live, carefully preserving all the correspondence(L.S. – Kauffman)and the 196o catalogue. Thank you again ! Best greetings. Ettore Pellecchia(ex Lawyer, retired in 2010), 65125 Pescara,Italy. Via Catani,63.

  • 4 Lulu // Dec 27, 2012 at 3:14 pm

    In the early 70’s I moved to NYC and bought my entire riding outfit there. I still have my boots and cap believe it or not. It was wonderful riding in NY Central Park. Such a great opportunity Claremont riding stable allowed also.

    Thanks NYC. Can’t afford it any longer.

  • 5 Barry Fohn // Mar 29, 2013 at 6:43 pm

    I purchased several pairs of boots and breeches from Kaufmans circa ‘69. I learned to ride at Mike Ryans riding academy. Soon I was giving lessons and jumping open puissance . These are very cherished childhood memories.

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