U.S. MILITIA OFFICER’S BELT PLATE 1818-1835

$300.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 475-303

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These square stamped brass belt plates may have come in as early as 1815, but mainly date from about 1818 to 1835. They were very popular among militia officers, particularly in the age of the “elegant elite” volunteer uniformed companies, where maybe some well-heeled enlisted men could wear them also, and are a collecting category of their own since there are a number of variations in the design and they were often available with gilt or silver finish, depending on the whim of the purchaser and regulations of his unit. Members of the “enrolled” militia were only required to have weapons and certain equipment. The “volunteer” companies were uniformed, usually to their own specifications. See O’Donnell and Campbell, page 101ff., for a discussion of these plates and their variations.

This one has an even green oxidized patina showing nice detail on the die-struck motifs and just some lighter color from rubbing on the expected high spots. The design shows an American eagle, essentially the arms of the United States, with a large shield on its chest, E Pluribus Unum ribbon and arc of 13 stars overhead, superimposed on a panoply of arms. The reverse of the plate shows where the base of the applied tongue and side bar (with floating tongues) had been positioned.

The detail of the plate is quite good. The patina is nice. There are no bends or breaks, and it displays nicely.  [sr]

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