Real or Faux? Union Buckle

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KarenG

Cadet
Joined
Aug 16, 2019
Messages
3
Seeking opinion on authentic/reproduction? on my Union buckle. Sorry, these seem to come out upside down no matter what I do (computer novice). Thanks for taking a look and offering your opinion.

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7thWisconsin

First Sergeant
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Nov 21, 2014
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1,189
Well, they accepted some pretty marginal stuff, and some items a reenactor today would reject regardless of price. However, I think this is a 1960-70 era repop. The arrows are more defined and longer than they should be.
 
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Rfield

Cadet
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
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9
Hello again, I would like your experienced opinion on a m1851 belt plate. I went against my own my own rule and bought this plate based on appearance and limited knowledge. Up on receiving the plate, I said wow, it almost looks too good, and with matching keeper. Usually aren't the keepers sewn on or sewn and rivited in the belts. If the plate is in such good condition why then wouldn't the belt as well. I know, these are questions I asked my self after the fact. But, is there the possibility that it could be an unissued plate set? There is no "GW" anywhere, only #11 on both pieces. It has a nice patina but, I have older brass fittings that have nice patena too. I've included some pictures of this plate hoping one of you guys could help me decern if this plate is authentic or not. I paid $200.00 for it, I have the option of returning it for a refund.
The plate conforms to the one described in O'Donnell & Campbell's book as #663. The dimensions are 53.8 X 85.3mm and not 55 X 86mm. I hope it's authentic but, if not, another lesson learned. I'd appreciate any help in determining if this is a keeper or send it back. Thanks everyone!

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James N.

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Sorry - that's an artifically "aged" repro. Note especially how the mold has been made from a worn original, evident on the shield on the eagle's chest. The finish is even overall, and if it were the real deal that part would be different. Here's what an original looks like:

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Rfield

Cadet
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
9
Sorry - that's an artifically "aged" repro. Note especially how the mold has been made from a worn original, evident on the shield on the eagle's chest. The finish is even overall, and if it were the real deal that part would be different. Here's what an original looks like:

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I guess I'm not sure what you mean as "evident on the shield on the eagles chest" what part would be different? Sorry for not following you. Yes, I agree that the finish seems too uniform, and the overall size is a bit under the specified spec. unless this is a common negligeble varience. There just doesn't seem to be the wear one might expect.
I really appreciate your reply but, could you be more specific? Thanks so much!!
 
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Tom Hughes

Corporal
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May 27, 2019
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Mississippi
Sorry for butting in. I'm no expert, but I believe he's correct on it being a repo.
Comparing the two represented here, the one you bought has a different shield shape and the arrows are different. I've been digging relics for 40 years and seen a lot of these type of plates and I'm pretty certain that yours is a reproduction.
But, hey, you never know. You were right to post it up here and get opinions. There are ALOT of smart folks on this site that know their relics.
I had a buddy that lived in Kansas and was at a flea market and picked up a U.S. sword belt plate for $5 that turned out to be authentic civil war vintage. The seller just didn't know....so you never know.
 

Rfield

Cadet
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
9
Sorry for butting in. I'm no expert, but I believe he's correct on it being a repo.
Comparing the two represented here, the one you bought has a different in shield shape and the arrows are different. I've been digging relics for 40 years and seen a lot of these type of plates and I'm pretty certain that yours is a reproduction.
But, hey, you never know. You were right to post it up here and get opinions. There are ALOT of smart folks on this site that know their relics.
I had a buddy that lived in Kansas and was at a flea market and picked up a U.S. sword belt plate for $5 that turned out to be authentic civil war vintage. The seller just didn't know....so you never know.
Hi guys, If you look in the McDonnell & Campbell's book, plate no. 663 it's exactly like the one I'm displaying here, shield, arrows, everything! There were many different examples of the m1851 plate. I'm still not sure we have a definitive answer. Is it possible to determine, with a higher degree of certainty/probability other than what has been shared thus far? I know some of these plates can be difficult to decern. Looking for a significant tell tail sign. What causes me the most concern is the keeper... where's the belt? Seems odd to me that the plate being so beautiful but, somehow lost its belt, if it ever had one. The keeper being sewn on and later, rivets were also added. Sure, you can add any plate to the belt or remove one, but the keeper should remain with the belt. Just curious! I guess the uniformity to the color could be how it was preserved over the years or taken care of. Am I making any sense here? I certainly would love to keep the plate, but, if it's a reproduction, it's a reproduction, and I'll return it!
I really appreciate the replies from both of you, James and Tom!
Rich
 
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Billw12280

Sergeant
Joined
Mar 4, 2017
Messages
696
Hello again, I would like your experienced opinion on a m1851 belt plate. I went against my own my own rule and bought this plate based on appearance and limited knowledge. Up on receiving the plate, I said wow, it almost looks too good, and with matching keeper. Usually aren't the keepers sewn on or sewn and rivited in the belts. If the plate is in such good condition why then wouldn't the belt as well. I know, these are questions I asked my self after the fact. But, is there the possibility that it could be an unissued plate set? There is no "GW" anywhere, only #11 on both pieces. It has a nice patina but, I have older brass fittings that have nice patena too. I've included some pictures of this plate hoping one of you guys could help me decern if this plate is authentic or not. I paid $200.00 for it, I have the option of returning it for a refund.
The plate conforms to the one described in O'Donnell & Campbell's book as #663. The dimensions are 53.8 X 85.3mm and not 55 X 86mm. I hope it's authentic but, if not, another lesson learned. I'd appreciate any help in determining if this is a keeper or send it back. Thanks everyone!

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I agree with others assessment on this one. I feel this is a repop.
 

James N.

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… I had a buddy that lived in Kansas and was at a flea market and picked up a U.S. sword belt plate for $5 that turned out to be authentic civil war vintage. The seller just didn't know....so you never know.
That is EXACTLY how I purchased this example of the officer's version of the plate. It was now long ago, but the seller had the buckle in a case with a lot of junk jewelry like the old clunky cheap cast-brass buckles that were worn on the wide "hippie" belts in the '60's and '70's, and I think I paid $5-7 for it. Unlike the enlisted version, the officers' are one-piece and were gilded overall; this one still has traces of the gilding in the low-relief areas.

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Tom Hughes

Corporal
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May 27, 2019
Messages
391
Location
Mississippi
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That is EXACTLY how I purchased this example of the officer's version of the plate. It was now long ago, but the seller had the buckle in a case with a lot of junk jewelry like the old clunky cheap cast-brass buckles that were worn on "hippie" belts in the '60's and '70's, and I think I paid $5-7 for it. Unlike the enlisted version, the officers' are one-piece and were gilded overall; this one still has traces of the gilding in the low-relief areas.

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Great find at a steal of a price. Makes me want to go check out some flea markets! 😀
 

Package4

2nd Lieutenant
Joined
Jul 28, 2015
Messages
3,298
Hi guys, If you look in the McDonnell & Campbell's book, plate no. 663 it's exactly like the one I'm displaying here, shield, arrows, everything! There were many different examples of the m1851 plate. I'm still not sure we have a definitive answer. Is it possible to determine, with a higher degree of certainty/probability other than what has been shared thus far? I know some of these plates can be difficult to decern. Looking for a significant tell tail sign. What causes me the most concern is the keeper... where's the belt? Seems odd to me that the plate being so beautiful but, somehow lost its belt, if it ever had one. The keeper being sewn on and later, rivets were also added. Sure, you can add any plate to the belt or remove one, but the keeper should remain with the belt. Just curious! I guess the uniformity to the color could be how it was preserved over the years or taken care of. Am I making any sense here? I certainly would love to keep the plate, but, if it's a reproduction, it's a reproduction, and I'll return it!
I really appreciate the replies from both of you, James and Tom!
Rich
Unfortunately it is definitely a repro and really not that good of one, the hook/tongue is the main giveaway for me and if you compare it to plate 663 you will know what I mean. The patina is way too even. The keeper and buckle together are not a concern as many belts rotted and the veteran threw them away years later. You used to find these with thread wrapped around the two to keep them together, sometimes in a sewing basket along with buttons. Return it for a refund.
 

Rfield

Cadet
Joined
Jul 29, 2019
Messages
9
Unfortunately it is definitely a repro and really not that good of one, the hook/tongue is the main giveaway for me and if you compare it to plate 663 you will know what I mean. The patina is way too even. The keeper and buckle together are not a concern as many belts rotted and the veteran threw them away years later. You used to find these with thread wrapped around the two to keep them together, sometimes in a sewing basket along with buttons. Return it for a refund.
Thanks for everyone's input! I greatly appreciate it! It's been returned and I came away with a "little" more knowledge. Thanks so much!
Oh, I don't think I placed the post correctly seems I was piggy backin' someone else's post, again sorry! RField
 
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