Real or Faux? 1851 Belt Plate - Real or Repro?

bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Hello - I bought this plate some 30 years ago at a flea market from a guy selling leather belts and large brass buckles. it was mixed in his large display of buckles depicting Mack trucks, cigarette brands, naked ladies, etc. He said he believed it was a reproduction, and I bought it as such for $15.00 because it looked so good. I wore it for a number of years, but as I got more experienced looking at repros, many of which look rather bad, this just started looking too good to me and I began wondering if it could be real. I stopped wearing it just in case, and it has sat for about 20 years. There are file marks on the back, as well as the number "4", which seemed to me to be rather low to be a benchmark number, so maybe could be a pattern number if it is a reproduction. Now that I am a member of this forum with access to those who likely have more knowledge and experience than mine, I was hoping some of you guys and gals out there could give me your opinion. Can I go back to wearing this without fear of damaging a Civil War relic, or does it actually deserve a place in the Civil War display?

1851a.JPG


1851b.JPG


1851c.JPG
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
Thank you for posting this. We have some very knowledgeable people who will know.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Hello - I bought this plate some 30 years ago at a flea market from a guy selling leather belts and large brass buckles. it was mixed in his large display of buckles depicting Mack trucks, cigarette brands, naked ladies, etc. He said he believed it was a reproduction, and I bought it as such for $15.00 because it looked so good. I wore it for a number of years, but as I got more experienced looking at repros, many of which look rather bad, this just started looking too good to me and I began wondering if it could be real. I stopped wearing it just in case, and it has sat for about 20 years. There are file marks on the back, as well as the number "4", which seemed to me to be rather low to be a benchmark number, so maybe could be a pattern number if it is a reproduction. Now that I am a member of this forum with access to those who likely have more knowledge and experience than mine, I was hoping some of you guys and gals out there could give me your opinion. Can I go back to wearing this without fear of damaging a Civil War relic, or does it actually deserve a place in the Civil War display?

View attachment 319137

View attachment 319138

View attachment 319139
Nice plate and these are difficult to discern, I'd invest in a cheap micrometer and take the dimensions. These are late war plates due to the rays encircling the motif and the shortened wreath. The plate should measure 55 x 86 mm.
 

bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Nice plate and these are difficult to discern, I'd invest in a cheap micrometer and take the dimensions. These are late war plates due to the rays encircling the motif and the shortened wreath. The plate should measure 55 x 86 mm.
Plate does measure 55 x 86 mm. I do have O'Donnell & Campbell's American Military Belt Plates but do not see this exact plate in there. All the later varieties, as you describe above, that he depicts have integral tongues, not an applied tongue like this one. Some earlier ones that he depicts, Plate 644 for example, do have the same type applied tongue as mine. However, the face of my plate does look most like Plate 663 of the later varieties, but again, with an applied tongue. So it has characteristics shared by several of the original plates he depicts, but no exact match. So if original, it is a variety he does not depict. If a repro, it is the best I have seen that could easily pass as an original. Either way I am only into it for $15, and would gladly buy another for that price. Thank you for your feedback.
 

bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Sorry I don't know how to attach a link, but if anyone gets the chance, take a look at csarms.com website. Item 9165 appears to be this exact belt plate on a belt for sale. What do you think?
 

bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Hopefully this is not improper as I am crediting the photos to the csarms.com website, but here are photos of the buckle and belt currently on sale there. The face, including the leaves and berries on the wreath, are identical to mine. The tongue also appears to be applied in the same manner.

csarmsbelt1.jpg


csarmsbelt2.jpg
 
Top