Lot 379: Union Belt

RR Auction

2015-11-30 14:51:27

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Lot 379: Field-procured, dark brown narrow leather waist belt measuring approximately 34? and 1.5? wide with a brass, die-struck, lead-filled oval belt plate which measures 3.5 x 2.25 and has an overall dark ochre patina with lighter spots along the edges. The plate has a noticeable inward bend at the left edge and moderate oxidation present on the lead filling on the reverse. Leather belt has a heavily flaked and crazed exterior with numerous scuffs and blemishes, but is still intact and relatively supple for its age. The tag end of the belt has a pointed tip and regularly spaced adjustment holes, but the buckle end has an uneven border with hand cut pass-throughs for the arrowhead fasteners of the plate. This would indicate that the belt itself was probably salvaged from some other sling or harness strap encountered in the field. The plate has a slightly more open design with more space above and below the "US" than is usual for Civil War era plates, very similar to the 1839 Pattern Dragoon plate (no. 24 in Plates and Buckles of the American Military 1795–1874 by Sydney C. Kerksis; 4th ed. 1991), but without the looped wire fasteners. This is a fine example of a Civil War soldier's belt, resourcefully 'repurposed' from something else. RR Auction's Fine Autographs and Artifacts Auction 466 Wednesday, 9th December 2015 Estimate: $400-600
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