EXCAVATED EARLY WAR CONFEDERATE SHEET BRASS CLIPPED-CORNER RECTANGULAR BELT PLATE

$100.00 SOLD

Quantity Available: None

Item Code: 2023-2967

These simple sheet brass belt plates with clipped corners were imitations of plates popular in the 1830s-1850s, but revived early in the Civil War when southern authorities could not equip all the new volunteers with fancier, costlier, and more labor-intensive belt plates. Some were die-stamped and others cut by hand by local contractors and most simply fitted with a soldered tongue and belt-loop bar. Needless to say, they did not stand up well to the rigors of field service and many were lost in service or replaced by similar plates with iron wire hooks that would hold together better and were more appropriate for leather belts.

This one is in excavated condition, as most are. The edges show some corrosion and a partial  shallow vertical crease from one edge. Both sides show coppery brown brass under mixed greenish-gray. The clipped corners are evident. Any bar and tongue or wire hooks are gone, likely explaining why the plate was lost or discarded. See Lon Keim’s excellent “Confederate General Service Accoutrement Plates", pp. 104ff, for details on these plates and their variants. Keim shows one of these as worn by an early war Virginia militiaman and notes their popularity among Virginia volunteers until “rigorous field service proved them unreliable,” and also illustrates one as worn by an identified private of the 5th Texas.    [sr] [ph:m]

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