VERY RARE 1839 PATTERN VARIANT ENGINEER PLATE & BELT

$4,500.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 801-23

This rectangular engineer belt plate differs slightly from the regulation pattern plate in that it has only a single border as opposed to the double border called for in the government specifications.

This plate is of gilt brass with a stippled recessed field. At center of the field is a die struck brass castle surrounded by a brass silver plated wreath. Both are soldered on to the face of the plate. The detail of the castle is very good with doors, windows and block lines clearly visible. Wreath also has fine details visible though some of the silver has worn off the higher surfaces. The edges of the plate are crisp and mostly bright while the recessed center has some built-up surface dirt in corners and a light patina from age.

Reverse has a small brass tongue which is correct. The surface has scattered surface dirt and a light patina. The keeper on one end of the plate has a bench number of “77.”

This particular plate matches very closely example number “240” in “AMERICAN MILITARY BELT PLATES” by O’Donnell and Campbell. Of the three plates pictured in that volume two have the castle and wreath attached by wires and one uses rivets. The plate offered here shows that solder was also used.

The plate offered here is attached to a black bridle leather Pattern 1832 Foot Artillery belt minus the frog. Attached to the opposite end of the belt from the plate is a brass keeper with a different bench number from the plate. The keeper bears the number “9.” Despite this mismatch the keeper and plate do fit together well when carefully interlocked. This fit was achieved by someone gently filing one of the keeper’s edges.

The leather belt shows moderate wear throughout. It has light surface crazing and minor surface finish loss. Leather is supple and stitching is good.

This is one of the rarer US military belt plates and not often encountered.

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