COMPLETE CIVIL WAR BUFF LEATHER CAVALRY SABER BELT BY W. KINSEY IN EXCELLENT CONDITION

$2,250.00 ON HOLD

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-2563

This is a complete U.S. cavalry saber belt in buff leather not only with both saber slings, but with the buff shoulder support belt as well. All the sliding tighteners are present: the large one on the waist belt, two on each saber sling, and one on the shoulder belt. Originally dyed black, the belt has oxidized to brown from the iron used in dying process as almost all of these have. (Some enterprising students recreating the dye process discovered that the color shift probably occurred within months, if not weeks of issue and exposure to air.) As is also typical of buff leather, the belt is very sturdy and is supple.

The belt is the 1851 pattern, but produced about 1864 using the wider waist belt, taller, “one-piece wreath” rectangular eagle saber belt plate, and employing rivets as well as stitching to secure the billets holding the two brass D-rings at front left, with the carrying hook, and the rectangular brass ring at rear. The slings are correctly mounted to the belt with their original double-headed brass studs at the top. At the bottom the trooper fastened the slings to commercially available swivel snap hooks to more easily detach the saber scabbard. These were common additions by experienced troopers, who sometimes resorted to simply scavenging snap hooks from issue link straps.

The buckle is bench marked 914 and the belt hasp is number 523, assembly numbers used in hand-fitting the pieces by the manufacturer. The match of color and fit, however, is perfect and they really do seem to have been together forever, perhaps the result of a switch during an equipment cleaning session in a camp or barracks. The belt has a clear maker’s ink stamp on the interior: “W. KINSEY / NEWARK,” with one of the holes for the adjusting hook and a small stain obscuring and “NJ.” William Kinsey had been a harness maker in Newark before the war and as William Kinsey and Company had government contracts for at least 25,000 sets of cavalry gear from late 1863 into 1865.

This is a very nice looking, complete, and sturdy cavalryman’s belt rig that would dress up a cavalry display and would great on a shell jacket. The belt is supple and has never had any preservatives or dressing applied to it. It shows just minor dust and a few small stains inside.  [sr] [ph:L]

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