VERY NICE REGULATION CIVIL WAR OFFICER’S 1851 PATTERN SWORD BELT PLATE

$350.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2068

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

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Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This plate has lots of nice, subdued gilt yet on the brass with just moderate rubbing to the high points. The side bar shows a slight bow, indicating it was actually worn, and the fastening hook is in place on the reverse. A small number “90” is stamped on the reverse near the edge. This is a “bench number,” used by the manufacturer to keep parts together since they required some hand finishing and fitting before being mounted on belts.

These rectangular plates were cast with the “arms of the U.S.,” an eagle with spread wings bearing a U.S. shield on its chest, clutching arrows and olive branch, and holding a ribbon reading, “E Pluribus Unum” in its beak. Underneath is a wreath and overhead is a band of stars with a cloud behind and rays of the sun above. The wreaths and stars were often given a thin silver wash that seldom survives and many collectors assume these are issue enlisted men’s plates, which are in fact those with the less detailed die work and inexpensive, but resilient, nickel silver applied wreaths. Officers purchased their own equipment, almost always through private military goods dealers, and the quality varied. In this case, the plate shows a very nice stippled background as well as excellent detail to the eagle motif.

These plates were adopted in 1851 and were the standard officer’s belt plate. This one would make a nice addition to an officer’s display or a key piece in a collection of Civil War belt plates and insignia. [sr]

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