CONFEDERATE “BABY” WISHBONE FRAME BUCKLE FROM NASHVILLE

$1,500.00

Quantity Available: 1

Item Code: 490-5846

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One of the more distinctive Confederate belt buckles is the forked-tongue or wishbone frame style from the shape of the movable tongue mounted on the center bar. The buckle is practical, light-weight, and robust. It would be fitted with a plain leather belt sewn around the center bar and pierced with two rows of holes that would lessen the stress on a belt weighted by a cap box, bayonet (perhaps,) and possibly a cartridge box. These were easily made with both frame and tongue made of sand cast brass, requiring just a little more labor than the fixed tongue varieties and, like them, were widely produced in a variety of sizes.

This one falls in the small or “baby” category and is very well finished, the bars of the frame being fairly narrow, with sharp outer corners and only very slightly rounded inner ones, and still showing the file marks from the final finishing. The center bar is raised on the reverse, with the ends beveled and the bar rounded, with a narrow channel at center to keep the tongue in position. The tongue shows flat surface on the back, but the prongs are rounded on top and bottom with the split of the fork beveled on the top.

The surface of the metal is very good, showing a nice brown with some deep green and few touches of lighter greens and browns. There are no bends, breaks or cracks. This was recovered at Nashville, fought in December 1864, where Thomas effectively put an end to Hood’s Army of Tennessee in two days of fighting after that general, frustrated by Sherman turning away for his march to the sea, had vainly sought to destroy separately forces under Schofield.

For parallels see Mullinax (1991) and Keim, though the pattern is pictured and discussed in other sources. This is a very nice example of a classic Confederate buckle that was widely produced and used, and shows up in period photos of Confederate soldiers who managed to get their photographs taken with their gear on. [sr][ph:L]

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