Real or Faux? Civil War Era (?) Unknown Belt Buckle

gcaso7176

Cadet
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
Hi there! I was wondering if someone would be able to help me identify and date this belt buckle. I've done some research but cannot seem to find this exact one anywhere. To me it looks like the anchor on the bottom is in a different position and the cannonballs are not present. It looks like there are 13 stars on top. There are also no markings on the back that I can see. But, I am no expert on this. I greatly appreciate the help. Please let me know if you need more pictures, thanks!

All the best to everyone during these uncertain times. Stay safe and healthy.

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bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
It appears similar to Plate 1012 page 602 in "American Military Belt Plates" by O'Donnell & Campbell. They identify the design as being for the Revenue Cutter Service, this motif beginning in 1863. The plate they show dates from 1865 to 1900, and with a thicker tongue design more common to Civil War era plates. Given that the one shown here appears to have a thinner, lighter "scooped out" tongue portion, I would think it is post Civil War.
 

major bill

Brev. Brig. Gen'l
Forum Host
Joined
Aug 25, 2012
It appears similar to Plate 1012 page 602 in "American Military Belt Plates" by O'Donnell & Campbell. They identify the design as being for the Revenue Cutter Service, this motif beginning in 1863. The plate they show dates from 1865 to 1900, and with a thicker tongue design more common to Civil War era plates. Given that the one shown here appears to have a thinner, lighter "scooped out" tongue portion, I would think it is post Civil War.

Thank you for this answer.
 

gcaso7176

Cadet
Joined
Feb 24, 2019
It appears similar to Plate 1012 page 602 in "American Military Belt Plates" by O'Donnell & Campbell. They identify the design as being for the Revenue Cutter Service, this motif beginning in 1863. The plate they show dates from 1865 to 1900, and with a thicker tongue design more common to Civil War era plates. Given that the one shown here appears to have a thinner, lighter "scooped out" tongue portion, I would think it is post Civil War.
Thank you for all of the help! I really appreciate it. I will assume that it is post CW, hopefully from the Indian Wars period. Thanks again @bobinwmass as well as @ucvrelics for the help in identifying this.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
I believe this to be more a fantasy piece, the metal backing is too heavy for anything than a shako and typically simple wires are soldered across the wreath with the letters attached to them.
Keep in mind that Bannerman‘s and others had warehouses full of surplus insignia and it would be easy to acquire and make anything you wanted.

Bannerman also provided restrike insignia for years after the war......
 

bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
I believe this to be more a fantasy piece, the metal backing is too heavy for anything than a shako and typically simple wires are soldered across the wreath with the letters attached to them.
Keep in mind that Bannerman‘s and others had warehouses full of surplus insignia and it would be easy to acquire and make anything you wanted.

Bannerman also provided restrike insignia for years after the war......
I think this answer may have been meant for a different thread. Does not appear to refer to this buckle.
 

James N.

Colonel
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Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
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East Texas
I believe this to be more a fantasy piece, the metal backing is too heavy for anything than a shako and typically simple wires are soldered across the wreath with the letters attached to them.
Keep in mind that Bannerman‘s and others had warehouses full of surplus insignia and it would be easy to acquire and make anything you wanted.

Bannerman also provided restrike insignia for years after the war......
Most fakes of buckles of this so-called tongue-in-wreath or spoon-in-wreath design I've seen don't even bother with copying the actual design, but have only a catch on the back of the central oval piece that engages a separate loop keeper. That tends to make me think it might be an actual buckle and not a fantasy piece like the Confederate Marine buckles, etc.
 

ucvrelics

Colonel
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Regtl. Quartermaster Shiloh 2020
Asst. Regtl. Quartermaster Antietam 2021
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Not going to lie, I would take and wear one of those restrikes from Bannerman. Specifically their restrike of rectangle C.S.A. plates from the original die. I'd wear that restrike at reenactments, even when maybe not historically accurate...
Just so happens I have one Thanks to LP
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bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
Depending on the size I believe U.S. Revenue circa 1872. 2.20" (57mm) x 3.00"(76mm) approx. 3.5 oz. Reference figure 73 page 79 in "Plates and Buckles of the American Military 1795-1874" by Sydney C. Kerksis
The one depicted in Kerksis, like the one depicted in Campbell and O'Donnell, has a heavier, solid tongue. I would put this one at a later date but still likely late 1800's as the Revenue Cutter Service became part of the Coast Guard in 1915.
 

Package4

1st Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
It appears similar to Plate 1012 page 602 in "American Military Belt Plates" by O'Donnell & Campbell. They identify the design as being for the Revenue Cutter Service, this motif beginning in 1863. The plate they show dates from 1865 to 1900, and with a thicker tongue design more common to Civil War era plates. Given that the one shown here appears to have a thinner, lighter "scooped out" tongue portion, I would think it is post Civil War.
To recover from my previous blunder.....I believe that this is just simply a short pour from the same casting mold as plate 1012, the berries on the wreath are in identical placement as are the sun rays coming down through the stars and feathers.
 

bobinwmass

Sergeant
Joined
Jul 14, 2019
Location
Western Massachusetts
I agree the wreath portions look identical. But to me there appears to be some differences in the face of the tongue, just like there is in the back. Figure 1012 in the book does not have the rays extending below one of the wings, this example has rays below both wings. The beaks are a bit different, and the shield on the eagle's chest in the book appears narrower. That is why I described them as similar. Definitely of the same pattern/design, but I don't think identical. Looking through the book I see that many of the tongue and wreath plates identified as late 1800's seem to be purposely made with the same lighter "spoon style" tongue on purpose, which is why I place this one as a later variety. But either way looks like they all fall within about a 35 year period.
 
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