NICE MODEL 1851 SWORD BELT PLATE WITH MATCHING BENCH NUMBERED KEEPER

$475.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 172-5871

This is very good example of the standard, regulation Civil War belt plate for enlisted men armed with swords, such as cavalry or horse artillery, as well as infantry sergeants, heavy artillery with short swords, etc. The pattern was adopted in 1851 and features the arms of the US on the face, integral hook on the back and slot on the side for the belt. This is the style adopted about 1864 for use on the wider saber belts and features a one-piece wreath of German (nickel) silver sweated on the face and sunburst rays all around the central motif. The plate bears the number 811 on the reverse, as does its original keeper. These are not serial numbers, but “bench numbers” used to keep the two pieces together after the finishing handwork had been done in fitting them to one another so they would not become separated before they were attached to the belt.

These are sometimes mistaken for officers’ plates because the nickel silver wreath usually is brighter than surviving officers’ plates that might have finer die work, but used an integral wreath with a silver wash that would rub off in active service. This is a very nice example showing a lot of gilt finish and just a few scattered small stains on the face of place and some verdigris on the bar of the keeper (hasp.)  [sr] [ph:m]

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