Item: Small Oval Plain Militia Belt Plate.
Construction: Thin sheet brass with solder fill.
Condition: Fair, excavated, struck. Its brass front has several freeze cracks and a deep green patina. The body of the buckle is concaved with a portion missing. It is this missing area that is clearly the result the plate being struck by something, possibly a period projectile. The rear has most of its solder on that part of the remaining buckle. The single brass arrow belt hook and tongue are no longer present.
Approximate size: 40 x 72 mm.
Comments: According to the description of this buckle in the reference book, "Confederate Belt Buckles & Plates - Expanded Edition", by Steve E. Mullinax, "John I. Pittman, well known New York accoutrement maker, delivered 500 of these plates to Virginia during September 1851 under U.S. government contract. Virginia received additional deliveries, including matching plain cartridge box plates, during the remainder of the 1850s." An example of this plate can be found in in the above mentioned book on page 239 as plate 441. These buckles are quite rare to recover and are therefore not readily available, even in this condition. This plate will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.
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