US CIVIL WAR REGULATION ISSUE BUFF INFANTRY WAISTBELT WITH KEEPER AND OVAL US PLATE

$400.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 953-177

This is the standard U.S. infantry waist belt and belt buckle of the Civil War in excellent condition. Constructed of buff leather, originally blackened and oxidized to brown from the iron in the dyes, the belt utilizes the flat brass C-clasp keeper that replaced a standing leather loop early in the war and the arrow or snake-head shaped fastening studs on the reverse of the 1839 pattern oval U.S. plate that were introduced in 1863. This belt was standard issue and mounted the soldier’s percussion cap box for his rifle musket primers and a bayonet in scabbard with belt loop. Although intended to be carried on a shoulder sling, period photographs show that cartridge boxes were occasionally carried on the waist belt as well.

The example is in excellent condition. The stamped sheet brass face of the plate shows some of its original gilt finish and just minor spots. The edges show no dings or dents from rough handling. The lead solder fill on the reverse is smooth. The tongue and hooks are in place. The leather is soft, but still retains some body. The interior is not stained. The flat keeper is in place. Modern experiments with iron based dyes show these belts likely oxidized to brown within weeks of issue and wear on the field. Some show signs of reblacking by soldiers or collectors. This one is untouched and would be a key pieces of a Civil War infantry or accouterment display.  [sr]

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