Fir Week at Horsekeeping’s Vintage Dooney & Bourke Store

This week I have rounded up all the fir bags we had waiting to be listed.

What says Dooney and Bourke better than a Vintage All Weather Leather Made in USA Fir and British Tan handbag??

R28 Small Satchel

R28 Small Satchel

R74 Cavalry Body Bag

R74 Cavalry Body Bag

R19 Classic Zip Top

R19 Classic Zip Top

R751 Vintage Flap Bag

R751 Vintage Flap Bag

R26 Small Essex

R26 Small Essex

R25 Medium Essex

R25 Medium Essex

That’s all the wonderful Dooney green I could find.


Did the Dooney & Bourke Calvary [sic] Bag come with a flat strap?

Paula – did the Calvary [sic] Body Bag ever come with a flat strap – not rolled? I have seen several bags that look authentic but the strap is a flat strap not the rolled strap?
Kind Regards
fake1 fake2 fake3 fake4
HI Debra,
You ask about a Calvary Bag so I’ll take this opportunity to clarify Calvary vs Cavalry, a common word mix up.
According to the bible, Calvary refers to a hill outside Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified.
Type = ArtScans RGB : Gamma = 1.882


Cavalry refers to soldiers on horseback. They usually carried a cartridge pouch on their belt. It is this item that the Dooney & Bourke Cavalry Body bag was modeled after. Here are some old US Cavalry cartridge pouches and a miniature model of a soldier with one on his belt.

Cavalry Soldier


Vintage Cavalry Pouch

cartridge pouch

Cavalry Pouch reproduction


As far as your question, although you don’t provide measurements, the photos do appear to have the features and be of the scale of a Cavalry Body Bag.


4 3/4″ x 6 1/4″ x 2″

With one inside pocket and a back loop for belt attachment.

From the 1996 catalog:

“The Cavalry Collection was originally drawn from a diagram of an ammunition pouch discovered in the archives of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Its classic lines, brass closure, and embossed USA still carry an air of authority. Cavalry Bags have detachable, adjustable shoulder straps and outside back pockets (except the Pochette and Body Bag, which have non-adjustable straps and no outer pocket.)”

In all the photos in this and all other Dooney & Bourke catalogs, the Cavalry Body Bag is shown with a non-adjustable rolled leather shoulder strop with trigger snaps.

The strap on your bag is the one that is usually seen on some other Dooney & Bourke models.

Because your bag has a snipped tag, that could indicate the wrong strap was put on the factory, thus the bag was sold as a “second” or as “imperfect” at an outlet store.

Or the previous owner could have just swapped straps from another bag.

Nevertheless, the strap shown with your bag is not the appropriate one.


Authentic Cavalry Body Bag


This blog is a labor of love of vintage All Weather Leather Dooneys and I am always glad to help with identifying and authenticating bags free of charge. It is my way of contributing to the knowledge base out there in hopes it helps prevent fraudulent sales from occurring.
Many of the answers are already on our website or this blog, so enjoy your browsing !
You can always buy authentic Dooney & Bourke bags on our website.


Authentic Cavalry Spectator

Could this be an authentic Dooney & Bourke Cavalry bag from the 1980s?

Hi Paula,

I am trying to authenticate a D&B bag that I received a few years ago from a friend.  It is very similar to the Small Cavalry Bag you have pictured.  It is the pebbled grain leather with brass hardware on the front closure and a slip pocket on the back, without a tab closure.   The inside seams are all lined but there is a LEATHER sewn tag on the inside that says: Dooney & Bourke, made in America. The bag is in very good condition.  Could this bag be from the early 1980’s?
Just need your opinion.
007 011 012 015 018 Aug29 040 Aug29 041 Aug29 043Joyce,
Yours is a very bad fake of a Dooney & Bourke bag.
As you know from visiting our website, this is what a Cavalry bag would look like – click on the bag to see more details including the interior.
758-R70-trooper-sm-bonebt-6And here is what the trademark strip should look like
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERATell tale signs of your bag being a knock off:
Having a shoulder pad in the first place.
The shoulder pad having faded gold letters Dooney & Bourke
Vinyl shoulder strap
Buckle on shoulder strap
Trademark strips should be like the one pictured above
Interior lining
Interior leather patch
None of these things have ever been used on an authentic Dooney & Bourke bag.

Paula Can you Help Me Choose a Purse?

Hi Paula,

I would like your assistance in assessing purse sizes. I know you have all the dimensions written down on your website, I am a very visual person and my brain is getting boggled comparing the numbers. You have hands on experience with the bags.

Will you name a couple of bags that are the largest overall, while being narrowest at the base? I do not care for a purse that sticks out from my body a great deal and a 6″ base it too much for me. It is hard to choose a purse without being able to put it on so to speak. It has to “fit”/carry in a way that I like and be comfortable.

I so love the look of the vintage Dooney’s and am looking to purchase one eventually.



Hi Cheri

Really the best way to find what would work for you is to go to a dept store and find a bag that is the perfect size for you and measure it. It is hard for me to know what is comfortable for you as far as fit and carry.
But here is a style that is large, roomy and 3” deep, you can also carry it with a handle.
Bone and British Tan Carrier

Bone and British Tan Carrier

There are many other color combos


Fir and British Tan Carrier

This is a larger purse, one of our most popular, 3 1/2 inches at the base, other colors available
Black and British Tan Shoulder Satchel

Black and British Tan Shoulder Satchel

And here is another to look at
Bone and British Tan Cavalry Saddle Bag

Bone and British Tan Cavalry Saddle Bag

And if you really want big, we have totes and briefcases !!
All British Tan Legal Brief

All British Tan Legal Brief

Happy browsing.
Thank-you Paula! This information is very helpful. I think the shoulder satchel would be the best fit for me. Are the handles actually long enough to wear the purse on the shoulder with the purse tucked under the arm? The handle drop measurement on your website lists 6″. That may be to short for carrying it like that??
Hello Cheri,
I just got out 3 of the shoulder satchels and yes they all measure a 6” drop from the inside top of the handle to the zipper. I am a 5’7” average sized woman wearing summer clothes and the bag slips on my shoulder fine and tucks under my arm. However for a larger person or with winter clothes, it might be less quick and easy to slip on and off but it would be secure once it got there !!
That’s what Dooney & Bourke designed these to be – that’s why the handles on the Shoulder Satchels are  longer than their normal satchels which are intended to be carried by hand.

Dooney & Bourke Handbags – What is Drop Length?

Authentic Made in USA Dooney & Bourke AWL Vintage Saddle Bag

Drop length relates to the length of the shoulder strap on a purse.  Specifically, it is the distance from the top of the folded shoulder strap to the top of the bag as shown in this photo.

We started out using Dooney & Bourke’s measurements from their vintage catalogs but have recently found that many of those measurements were inaccurate, so from our item #598 and up, we are using the following method:

We buckle the strap on its longest setting and then its shortest setting and report those two measurements.

I’d like to update all of our older pages to this new, more useful method but time constraints don’t allow that right now. So, if you are looking at a bag on our site that has an item number under #598 and you are concerned about the strap length, feel free to write me and I’ll measure, let you know the actual measurements, and update that bag’s page.

Authentic Made in USA Dooney & Bourke Cavalry Body Bag

What Year was this Dooney & Bourke bag made?

Hi Paula,

Is this a new bag? Is there anything else you can tell me about the bag.  Which year it is from?  Was this one of the first types of bag they made, besides the equestrian and the tack bag?  Are there any marks at all on it?  How does it look hanging from the shoulder?  Anything else pertinent.

Thank you,  Michele

Hi Michele,

All of the Dooney & Bourke handbags on our website are vintage All Weather Leather handbags, made in the USA.

The one you asked about is vintage but it is newly listed on our site, so if you mean new listing, yes. New bag, no as all the bags are vintage.

We list new items daily and there will be several more Dooney & Bourke bags listed this week. You can keep track of new items here on our NEW item page.

Yes this bag was one of the first types of bags they made in the early 1980s. As far as what specific year, I have no way of determining. that.

Read about Dooney & Bourke history here

Everything as far as measurements and condition is outlined on the page. We note any defects with words and photos.We give each bag a condition score and the score legend is posted at the bottom of each page.

How does the bag hang from the shoulder? Nicely but I’m not really sure what you are asking…..the drop length is listed for each shoulder bag on our site and the shoulder straps are adjustable. You can read about drop length by clicking here.