VERY NICE NON-DUG ARMY OF NORTHERN VIRGINIA STYLE OVAL CS “EGG” BUCKLE

$4,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 286-819

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This is a very scarce example of a non-excavated Confederate enlisted man’s belt plate in excellent condition. Plates of this pattern long ago got the unflattering nickname of CS “egg” plates from their oblong shape. They were plainly meant as counterparts to the 1839 pattern U.S. ovals and were issued in substantial numbers in the Army to Tennessee in 1862 and 1863 and to the Army of Northern Virginia. This is one of the Virginia patterns, with a characteristic border and lead fill used to stiffen the stamped brass shell and more firmly anchor the wire hooks on the reverse, where other versions simply solder the wire to the reverse.

This one recently turned up at a sale in the northeast and is certainly a war souvenir brought back by a Union soldier, though any more specific background seems lost. The stamped brass face of the plate has minor dings or pressure marks from issue and wear. It also preserves an untouched patina and what for these plates is a well-defined “CS” and rim. The reverse uses a characteristic iron wire “Y” form with the fastening hook doubled. (Records indicate some of these actually used telegraph wire.) In this case the wire shows age darkening and typical surface corrosion, but is intact and solid. The lead fill shows mixed light and dark gray, but none of the corrosion that often accompanies dug plates. The reverse edge of the plate is exposed in some areas, a result of the lead cooling and an indicator of a rather hasty job of filling the back of the plate, but the exposed edges are intact and show no dings or dents along the perimeter. See Mullinax (1991) Plates 116-199 for similar examples.

This is a scarce CS belt plate, non-excavated, in exceptional condition.  [sr]

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