TWO-PIECE WAIST BELT PLATE STILL ON ITS ORIGINAL LEATHER WAIST BELT - BILL GAVIN COLLECTION

$950.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 601-113

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

To Order:
Call 717-334-0347,
Fax 717-334-5016, or E-mail

This crudely cast, mid-19th century, two-piece eagle 'tongue and wreath' brass sword belt plate is non-dug and constructed in the sandcast method. Overall, the 2-piece plate exhibits a convex curve with the loop portion of the tongue very slightly bent inward, as is the belt loop on the wreath. Face of tongue features a spreadwinged eagle on a lined background facing to its right. It wears a national shield on its breast and holds an olive branch in the right talon and a set of three arrows in its left. High areas are worn down. Tongue is looped, not stitched through the original leather belt and secured with a two-prong metal loop adjuster and also a leather belt loop. Wreath is looped and stitched to the leather belt.

 The thin, black leather waist belt is in good original condition and measures 33" long and 2¾" wide. Leather is somewhat stiff to the touch but still strong. Belt exterior shows moderate cracking and belt has one weak area seven inches from the wreath that has been crudely repaired with a small piece of adhesive tape applied from the backside. Entire plate measures approximately 3" x 2" and exhibits a dark but mellow bronze patina overall. Casting detail on the tongue wreath is rough and worn with no maker's marks visible. This wonderful, mid-19th century, original leather belt and its two-piece eagle plate would certainly add to any leather collection or soldier's display.

The late William G. "Bill" Gavin (1924 - 2010) was one of the nation's most prominent and esteemed Civil War relic collectors. Following graduation from West Point [Class of 1946], Gavin became a pioneer in applying WWII mine-detector technology to relic hunting. Along the way, he became an avid historian whose collection, with its origins dating back to the 1930's, was enhanced by his acute knowledge of battlefield troop movements. His service to his country included six years in the U.S. Army, followed by a seven year period in which he was a member of the U.S. Army (Ready) Reserve. 

Mr. Gavin shared his Civil War knowledge via the publication of four books and several magazine articles. In 1963 he authored one of the earliest books on relic buckles (Accoutrement Plates North and South, 1861-65), and in the 1970s established the Rectory Museum in Harper's Ferry, while becoming owner of The Cliffside Inn. He was also the owner of Happy Retreat, the 18th century home of Charles Washington, youngest brother of George Washington, located in Charles Town, WV. The Horse Soldier joins the national Civil War community in mourning Bill Gavin's passing, and is proud to be able to offer items from his exceptional collection.

 

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