MEXICAN WAR M1839 OVAL U.S. BELT PLATE

$375.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 766-1543

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This is the M1839 oval U.S. belt plate made for the narrow 1.5-inch U.S infantry waist belts of the Mexican War period. Like the Civil War versions, these are made of rolled stamped brass with a lead solder filled back securing the fastening hooks. This one uses the single brass arrowhead stud to secure it on one end of the belt and a narrow hook to fasten and adjust the other end. These were first made with iron wire hooks that were found to break too easily and the brass hooks were introduced in 1844. By the time of the Mexican War the belt served not only to secure the shoulder belt of the cartridge box, but to carry the bayonet scabbard as well, with the majority of troops still carrying flintlock arms and no need of cap pouches.

This is a good, non-excavated example showing wear and use, but with a medium patina showing just a little discoloration at a couple of spots around the rim, at lower left and right, and upper left, along with small handling marks and some dings mainly at top left, resulting in some unevenness to the fill on the reverse. There is one small spot on the reverse that looks like it was struck by something pointed that did not penetrate, but raised a tiny dot on the surface to the lower right of the “U.” The arrowhead stud and belt hook are firmly in place. A narrow brass line nicely shows the construction, using a one-piece brass element secured by the lead solder fill. This would fit nicely in a military belt plate collection or a display focused on the Mexican War, though these plates also made their way into the Civil War on the equipment of early war volunteer forces from the various states.    [SR][PH:L]

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