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Union EM's Buckle

Discussion in 'Civil War Uniforms & Relics' started by Karl S., Dec 7, 2017.

  1. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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    Hello,

    I realize this is probably one the most common CW relics around, and the main thing I know about these things is there's many fakes. opinions welcome..thanks

    1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg
     
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  3. redbob

    redbob 1st Lieutenant

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    Without taking anything away from your belt plate ,usually the fakes entail CSA or higher end buckles; I believe that yours is a nice original belt plate.
     
  4. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    I think I have to agree with redbob. The green residue at the base of the belt hooks looks like it was worn and sweated on for a long time. It is possible that this is a really good reproduction, or even new old stock, from the centennial that a reenactor campaigned really hard. In any case nice buckle.
     
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  5. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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    Thank you guys. I wanted to surprise my wife with it. Her Great Grandfather was a member of the 88th PA Volunteers.
     
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  6. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    Great gift. Merry Christmas.
     
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  7. Billw12280

    Billw12280 Private

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    This appears to be an 1839 model buckle with arrow hooks but whether original or a reproduction is uncertain. Can you post pictures of the buckle from the side (laying on its face)? The reason I ask is that from one of your pictures it appears that the solder back is overfilled. I need a better view of the prongs as well, the arrow hook bevel seems off and the tongue looks too thin to me.
    I always recommend Harry Ridgeways site for a free reference guide, you can access it here
    http://www.relicman.com/plates/zLibraryPlate.390.Fed.Oval.LargeSizeVariants.htm
    And fakes here
    http://www.relicman.com/fakes/zfakeFed475to534USOval.htm
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017
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  8. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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    Hi Bill,
    I won't have it in hand until next week.
     
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  9. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    I believe it to be a reenactment piece due to the thin prong and the lead looks to be a little overfilled for the period. The verdigris doesn't take very long to develop, in fact I have a basement that turns my reenactment buckles, where the leather attaches green, over the winter.

    Where did you buy it and is there a return policy? Post more pictures when you receive and it will be easier to make a more definitive conclusion. The prong should be thicker and more rounded with a slight upward turn 3/4s of the way to the end.

    I have seen arrow hooks beveled that way on originals and I have seen (rarely) a thin prong, but they almost always have the upward bend.
     
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  10. mofederal

    mofederal 2nd Lieutenant

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    I thought it might be a new old stock plate, later filled in with lead. I had one of those once. I like it, real or not @Karl S.
     
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  11. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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    Thanks, Yes there's a return option, I'll post some better images next week.
     
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  12. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    I don't know what you paid but that is a really nice buckle.
     
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  13. James N.

    James N. Major Forum Host Civil War Photo Contest
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  14. JOHN42768

    JOHN42768 2nd Lieutenant Trivia Game Winner

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    Looks all good, but no expert. Congrats
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 11:48 AM
  15. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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  16. major bill

    major bill Lt. Colonel Forum Host

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    These belt buckle are great for display. There is something special about a piece of gear worn by a soldier.
     
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  17. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    To illustrate what I mean by a thicker prong please take a look at the following; all three on belts are I'd and original, in fact the top piece belonged to Michael Calligan 59th NY killed close to the Angle during Pickett's Charge. The buckle has his name calligraphied on the rear, his initials and regiment carved into the capbox and belt. Unfortunately it was removed from him prematurely and he lies in the National Cemetery in an unmarked grave. The bottom piece, much like the one in the OP is a reproduction. Also the hooks and prongs should be a more brass than copper color. I would rather identify a reproduction now during the return period than find out past that time. IMG_1705.jpg
    IMG_1700.jpg
     
  18. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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    Package,
    Thanks for sharing your knowledge, I'll really need to take a close look at my buckle when I have it.
     
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  19. Package4

    Package4 First Sergeant Trivia Game Winner

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    No problem, it could be right, I just like to see a thicker prong with an upward bend, but even the repros are starting to have the bend. When checking my collection, I just found an early purchase, on a belt and guess what, repro. I had it boxed away for years and took it out to compare and embarrassed to say I was fooled years back, it's on an original belt, but definitely a repop.
     
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  20. zburkett

    zburkett Sergeant

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    For me, it is so easy to fake a reproduction I always just assume that every buckle is a reproduction and that is the price I am willing to pay. At a recent auction there was a really nice Texas buckle that I did not buy because in the same auction there was a saber that I knew was not right. That said, this is a really nice buckle and if the price is right for a Bannerman then I would go for it. If the price is ridiculous then return it.
     
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  21. Karl S.

    Karl S. Private

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    Thanks again all. I collect Third Reich items as a hobby, many fakes there also. SS items are highly faked, if I'm not getting a item from a veterans family or a very trusted source I'll pass on it. The same would apply to CW collectibles as most of you know.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2017 at 7:46 AM
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