1851 ENLISTED MAN’S SWORD BELT PLATE WITH KEEPER AND BELT FITTINGS

$350.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 490-2067

This is a very nice example of the buckle pattern adopted in 1851 for officers and soldiers carrying swords. This particular plate is one issued to enlisted men such as infantry sergeants, cavalrymen or members of the artillery who carried swords. The plate shows a nice aged patina in recessed areas and some expected brighter rubbing to the raised edges. This plate is the prewar and early-war version, less tall than the later-war plates and uses a nickel or “German” silver wreath applied in three pieces. The central motif is the U.S. eagle with shield, arrows, olive branch, stars and E Pluribus Unum ribbon seen also on officer’s plates. In fact, the nickel silver wreaths usually preserve their color far better than the thin silver washes on the commercially purchased officer’s plates and these issue, enlisted plates are often misidentified.

Brass belt plates obviously hold up better than the leather they were mounted on and in this case a collector or dealer salvaged them from a waist belt. The keeper is present, which helps, since necessary hand finishing meant these plates do not interchange readily. Two brass loop belt fittings are also with it, indicating they were once on the waistbelt of an artillery short sword, though the plate is the same one used for infantry NCO, cavalry and artillery belts and would be appropriate in a display of any of those services.

This is a widely worn Civil War belt plate and a basic piece in a collection. With its matching keeper present, it could also be used to restore a belt that needs them.  [sr]

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