FULL BUFF LEATHER INFANTRY BELT SET: CARTRIDGE BOX WITH SLING AND BOTH PLATES, BELT WITH U.S. PLATE, CAP BOX, SCABBARD AND BAYONET

$2,250.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 1052-113

Shipping: Determined by Method & Location of buyer

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

This Civil War infantry belt set includes the soldier’s .58 cartridge box on a buff leather shoulder sling and waist belt rig with accouterments including a buff waistbelt and bayonet scabbard. The cartridge box is 1861 pattern for the .58 caliber rifle musket used throughout the war alongside later patterns. The inner flap is crisply stamped, “L.S. BAKER / NEW YORK,” one of few female military contractors. Laura S. Baker, widow of John A. Baker, took over his military goods business in June 1862, obtaining U.S. contracts for at least 20,000 sets of .69 and .58 caliber infantry accouterment sets from October 1862 to January 1863, with other private and state sales. In January 1864 she joined with James McKenney, to form the well-known Baker and McKenney.

The box uses only a line of stitching the hold the latch tab, but has the rivets holding the belt loops that distinguish it from the 1857 pattern, and is complete, with all buckles, loops, and tabs in place and secure, as are the side ears on the inner flap. The two magazine tins, the implement pouch with flap and tab are all in place. The leather has a nice black surface overall with some minor wrinkling from flexing, and a few rubs to the cover, but no large flaking or loss of finish. The box plate shows some gilt in recesses and is secured by a long leather wedge/thong on the reverse. The remains of a soldier’s stencil reading “CB” are visible on the inside of the outer flap.

The buff shoulder sling is flexible and shows a mix of black, deep brown and light brown colors from oxidation and use. We see just the very tip of one billet missing. The round eagle cartridge box sling is in very good condition, with nice detail, one or two small age marks, but with a good edge, no dings to the surface, and is secured by a leather thong. The soldier or leather worker put the mounting holes at the wrong angle so that the eagle leans further to one side, which is barely detectable, but likely subject to comment by the company first sergeant.

The buff leather waist belt is very good, solid, supple and has a cream color interior and black exterior that has oxidized uniformly to brown. It has a few scattered stains and a slight scrape at the adjustment holes. The belt is mounted with the flat, open C-clasp keeper that came in about 1862 and the plate is the arrow-back version of the standard 1839 pattern oval US, introduced in 1862 and in general use 1863-1865. The plate has a nice level back, mellow tones to the face with a few handling marks, nice definition to the letters, and some traces of gilt at the letter edges.

The cap box is the early war pattern with two-piece front and belt loops secured by stitching alone. The inner flap with side ears is in place. The interior strip of fleece, used to keep the percussion caps inside, is long gone to moths. The surface of the leather and the color are excellent, with some wrinkling from flexing but no losses except on the latch tab. There is an old strip of leather knotted around the belt loops for some reason.

The bayonet is an excellent example of the 1855 pattern socket bayonet used on all the Springfield and contractor .58 caliber rifle muskets. The metal is bright with scattered small gray spots and has a sharp US stamp over a small S. The locking ring is present and functional. The scabbard is buff leather, matching the waist belt in tone, and uses seven rivets to attach the belt loop and throat, and an eighth to help secure the scabbard body to the throat. The scabbard body is very good, with secure brass tip and no bends or breaks, but some wear to the finish along the edges.

This would look great displayed with a .58 caliber rifle musket or as part of an infantry display. [sr] [ph:L]

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