U.S. BELT PLATE RECOVERED BY SYD KERKSIS WEST OF THE CHURCH AT SHILOH IN SEPTEMBER 1959

$495.00 SOLD

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Item Code: 490-5805

This is a very good condition excavated example of the regulation 1839 pattern infantry belt plate used throughout the Civil War. This comes with its original collection envelope with its ink notes by Syd Kerksis, well-known early collector and author, indicating he found it in September 1959 west of the church. This is the typical construction using rolled brass stamped with a raised US and lead-solder filled back securing the brass belt hook and stud arrangement. The studs are the arrowhead pattern introduced by some makers as early as 1862, but which saw general use more from 1863 onward, making it likely the plate was lost by a soldier sometime after the battle. Union forces remained in the area for weeks after the battle, and even after the fighting moved on there was occasional trouble with armed bands and Union gunboats were a presence on the river. It could also have been lost by a visiting veteran or soldier connected with cleaning up the battlefield and the establishment of the national cemetery by the War Department in 1866.

The plate shows as brown with some faint brass showing on the edges and has well defined letters with just minor scratches and a nice rim showing only slight unevenness and just a small ding at upper left. The hook and arrow studs are in place. The lead solder fill is good, showing only shallow pockmarks and no significant losses, mostly gray in color, with scattered white spots from oxidation.

This has a nice provenance to a well-known early relic hunter, collector and scholar, and a great find location on a famous battlefield.  [sr] [ph:m/L]

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