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VIRGINIA CIVIL WAR RELICS

Civil War Buckles

This page last updated December 04, 2014

EMAIL       Phone:  804-873-5462

virginiarelics@comcast.net

Plez Bagby
PO Box 6425
Charlottesville, VA 22906

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PC4661
                  US Waist Belt Plate

This excavated US waist belt plate is in good condition and was recovered in Culpeper County, VA.  Its brass face has a very pleasing green patina and does show some period wear and tear.  At the "U" end, at the rim, there is a small nick along with two small nearly unnoticeable hairline fractures.  The rear has both puppy paw studs and belt attachment hook in place and a full complement of solder.  There is some minor bending in the plate which is likely from period use.  This plate will be an excellent addition to any Civil War belt plate or general relic collection.  Approx. 54 x 85 mm.   $250.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC4937
                  Sword Belt Plate

This excavated Federal sword belt plate is clearly in dug relic condition and if you want that excavated war-ravaged look, then this plate is for you.  Constructed of cast brass, the face shows an eagle clutching arrows in its left talon and an olive branch in its right.  The applied nickel-silver wreath is no longer present and there are two small holes directly next to each other in the lower left front view corner of the plate.  The plate's body has waves and is thin in the area of the two holes.  It is my opinion that this plate was likely subjected to a just enough heat, perhaps from a campfire, that would have melted the wreath and also create the holes and waves.  All of the defects appears period and create a since of wonderment and curiosity about exactly what this sword belt plate went through.  The rear has still retains its belt keeper attachment tongue and the plate has an overall reddish-brown patina.  Other than the aforementioned holes, I have observed no other cracks, breaks, or repairs and this buckle will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.  Approx. 55 x 82 mm.   $165.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC4435
                  US Waist Belt Plate - Partial Manufacturer & Inspector Mark

This US waist belt plate is in very good condition, was acquired direct from the digger, and is partially marked in the rear solder with a fairly rare manufacturer's and inspector's stamping.  Its brass face has the distinctive "US" letter pattern of military accoutrement manufacturer Boyd & Sons of Boston.  This same letter pattern is also found on Wilkinson marked plates.  Wilkinson was another accoutrement manufacturer during the Civil War from Springfield, Massachusetts.  The brass of this plate has aged into a very nice chocolate brown patina with encrusted soil remaining in the upper and lower areas nicely high-lighting the letters. While the rear of the plate has a near complete complement of solder, there is moderate surface flaking which has resulted in the loss of much of the manufacturer's and inspector's stamping.  The complete mark would have read "BOYD & SONS BOSTON" and "T. J. SHEPPARD".  What is still visible on this plate is "SONS" and the letters "T" & "RD" of "T. J. SHEPPARD".  The Boyd stamping, while not particularly rare, is not often recovered that includes the accompanying inspector's mark of "T. J. SHEPPARD".  The inclusion of this inspector mark makes this plate particularly rare and highly desirable among collectors.  Some of these plates were triple marked with the addition of the small letters "US" also stamped in the rear.  This plate may have that stamping as well, but I have found no evidence to conclude that it was.  All three brass arrow style belt attachment hooks are securely in place.  It was recovered in the Richmond, VA area in the 1950 - 60's by local Virginia relic hunter, Jim Cullinan.  Jim was one of the early Civil War relic hunters that started out with a true "army mine detector" that actually required a backpack to operate.  This very nice rare marked waist belt plate has no cracks, breaks, bends, or repairs and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War plate or general relic collection.  Approx. 56 x 88 mm.   $350.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC5468
                  Confederate Wreath Buckle

This wreath is one half of a Confederate CS two-piece tongue and wreath sword belt plate.  It is in very good condition and was acquired direct from the digger who recovered in Orange County, VA.  It is constructed of cast brass which has aged into a dark brown-greenish patina.  As you will see in the enlargement pictures by clicking on the thumbnail image to the left, there is some bending in the body of the wreath as well as the belt loop.  This bending, however, does not eliminate the possibility of marrying this wreath to a CS tongue as the appropriate size tongue should still lie comfortably within the wreath and display quite nicely.  The approximate measurements of this plate in millimeters are as follows:  Overall length: 61 mm., Loop height 49.5 mm., exterior wreath height 50.41 mm., interior wreath hole dimensions:  height is 33.39 mm., length (from loopside to other side) ranges anywhere from 17.13 to 19.04 mm., the inside wreath distance top to bottom measures 31.8 mm.  There are no cracks, breaks, or repairs and the wreath will be an excellent addition to any Civil War plate or general relic collection.   $575.00   Order Information  or  Questions?   SALE PENDING

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PC5568
                  US Waist Belt Plate - "Baby Size"

 This non-excavated 1839 pattern US waist belt plate is the small or "baby" size type.  The face, with its very pleasing darkened brass patina, is nearly flawless.  The solder filled rear has the attachment hooks in place and solidly attached.  This plate has no cracks, breaks, bends, or repairs and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War plate or general relic collection.  Approx. 40 x 70 mm.  $350.00  
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PC5608
                  US Carbine Sling Buckle

This excavated US carbine sling buckle, from a Shenandoah Valley, VA dug collection, is in very good condition and has a very pleasing reddish-brown patina. Recovered from Brownsburg, VA The center bar is solidly attached with both freely moving tangs present.  The plate has a few small areas on its front where brass is showing through and is most likely a result of rolling around in a relic box along with other relics.  This US carbine sling buckle has no cracks, breaks, bends or repairs and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War buckle or general relic collection.  Approx.  52 x 83 mm.   $95.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC5507
                  Confederate "Forked Tongue" Frame Waist Belt Buckle - Half Portion

This Confederate frame waist belt buckle, most assuredly, has the look of war with only half of it present.  This, of course, conjures up thoughts as to how it got this way.  Was it an explosion, a farmer's plow or something else that rendered it in this condition?  We will never know for sure.  What we do know is that it's the half with the forked tongue still affixed to its intact bar.  The brass was cleaned at some point but has begun to return to its darker patina.  This buckle was recovered in the area of Chancellorsville, VA and, after measuring and taking into account the bending and the absence of one end, I have determined that this is the medium size forked tongue buckle.  This fine Confederate relic will be an excellent addition to any Civil War plate or general relic collection.   SOLD

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PC5416
                  US Belt Buckle

This US belt waist belt buckle is in very good condition and its brass face, with raised letters "US", has an even chocolate brown patina.  The rear has all three arrow type belt attachment hooks and a near complete complement of solder with some surface flaking.  This buckle was acquired directly from the digger and was recovered from Spotsylvania Courthouse, VA.  It measures approximately 56 x 88 mm  and has no cracks, breaks, bends, or repairs.  This buckle will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.   $295.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC5268
                   Plain Waist Belt Plate Tongue

This excavated plain waist belt plate tongue is constructed of sand cast brass which now has a very pleasing light green patina.  This particular tongue was recovered in the Richmond, VA area and, while it shows moderate wear, it is in very good condition with no cracks, breaks, bends, or repairs.  A similar example can be found on page 174 in the second edition of O'Donnell and Campbell's "American Military Belt Plates".  The authors list this plate as  "Waist Belt Plate, Possible Mounted Rifleman's "Artillery Plate", ca. 1849."  In the description of their plate it is suggested by O'Donnell and Campbell that their example may have had raised letters "US" on its tongue disc that were filed off.  Further in the description, it states that "The  Confederates copied this pattern with letters "CS" replacing original "US"." 

 Civil War author and plate expert, Mike O'Donnell, kindly provided the following information regarding this plate.

"Confederate enlisted man’s “Artillery Plate” worn with a wide waist belt supporting a CS copy of the Model 1832 U.S. Artillery short sword. It was a contract plate almost certainly made in 1861, prior to the introduction of the more familiar two-piece CS buckle as the Army standard for their sword belt plates. To fashion this mold pattern, a Southern shop began with an existing pre-war U.S. plate, carefully removed the offending letters, and proceeded to cast hundreds of copies. Based upon a comparison of surviving examples, this work was performed by more than one foundry and they have been recovered in both theaters of the war. The more common version employed an actual 1839 pattern U.S. Artillery Plate with shorter belt loops as a mold pattern. The extra tall belt loops seen here indicate that a 1849 variation of the Artillery Plate intended for the Regiment of Mounted Riflemen served as the mold pattern. Sometime around early 1862, a contract was let for a final batch of this design with raised letters “CS” added to the formerly plain tongue discs."

The measurements arė:  tongue disc diameter is 31.5 mm., exterior belt loop height is 63 mm., interior belt loop height is 55 mm.   This tongue will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.  $1,195.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC4076
                  Federal Sword Waist Belt Plate with Keeper

This Federal sword belt plate and keeper are in very good condition.   Constructed of brass, this belt plate has a brown-green patina with yellow-bronze brass showing in the high relief areas as well as where the applied silver-nickel wreath, which surrounded the eagle, once was attached.  The light glow of the brass in this area beautifully high-lights the the raised eagle clutching arrows in one talon and an olive branch in the other.  It is not unusual for these applied wreaths to be missing mainly due to their construction and from ground action from being in the elements for decades.  The keeper is an excellent match in size, fit, and patina, but the number stamped into it of what appears to be "2969" does not match the number of "282" stamped into the tongue of the plate.  The plate has nice body curve and will be an excellent addition to any excavated plate or general relic collection.   The plate alone measures approximately 52 x 85 mm and, with the keeper, it measures approximately 52 x 94 mm.   $325.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC4269
                  US Belt Plate

This US belt plate is in good condition and its rear is marked "JOHN WARD CAMP".  The assumption is that this buckle was recovered in this camp but I have not been able to determine exactly which John Ward camp this was.  According to my research Gen. John Ward was appointed  the colonel of the 38th New York infantry and was present at First and Second Bull Run battles, and commanded the brigade at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville, VA.  Ward was eventually wounded in the head at the Battle of Spotsylvania Courthouse and was removed from command on May 12, 1864 by Major General Winfield S. Scott for "misbehavior and intoxication in the presence of the enemy at the Battle of the Wilderness".  He was arrested on June 12 and, despite these charges, he was nevertheless honorably mustered out on July 18, 1864.  The plates brass face, with its long tall letters "US", is in fair condition and has a mostly brown patina with a rust bump at the bottom portion of the letter "U".  The rear has nearl a full complement of solder and all three arrow style attachment hooks.  The plate has no cracks, bends, or repairs and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War excavated plate or general relic collection.   Approx. 56 x 86 mm.   $215.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC1519
                  US Belt Plate - for Dragoon or Rifleman

This excavated US belt plate is in very good condition.  The face of the plate has a pleasing chocolate brown patina showing areas of wear at the high points of the serifs of the two raised letters "US".  The glare or shine visible in the images of the face is a result of my photography lighting.  The rear has full lead and all three belt attachment hooks solidly in place.  In this case the two fixed studs are situated behind the letter "S" indicating dragoon or rifleman usage.  According to O'Donnell and Campbell's "American Military Belt Plates" reference book, "The dragoon saber belt plates issued by the Army, 1839-1851, had belt hooks reversed from the arrangement on the smaller infantry plates.  With shoulder straps and sling straps in the way, the cartridge box (and later cap box) had to slide over the end of the belt on the wearer's right, requiring the US plate have the two fixed studs on the wearer's left (behind letter "S").   The edges of the plate show some denting indicating that this plate has "been there, done that".  This fine belt plate is very attractive, has no cracks or repairs, and will make an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.  Approx.  53 x 85 mm.  $295.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC4985
                  Confederate "MEDIUM SIZE" Forked Tongue Belt Plate

This Confederate "medium size" forked tongue belt plate is in good condition and has an awesome woodsy green patina.  When recovered, on the day before Easter of this year from Quinton, VA, it was missing its tongue, but the digger kept digging and recovered it from the same hole a few minutes later.  The break in the stem of the tongue is clearly old damage as there is no bright brass showing in this area.  Also recovered, only few inches away, was a complete drummers buckle with the same patina.  This frame buckle has no cracks, bends, or repairs, measures approximately 57 x 89 mm., and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War belt plate or general relic collection.   $650.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC4872
                  US Belt Buckle

This excavated US belt plate is complete and was recovered in Culpeper County, VA.  Its brass face has a very nice green-brown patina and is in good condition with the exception of a small break in the rim above the letters "US".  This break does not appear to be recent as there is no bright brass showing in this area, otherwise, the face has no cracks or other damage.  The rear is solid with all three belt attachment hooks in place and a full complement of solder with the exception of a small amount at the area of the aforementioned rim break.  This plate will be an excellent addition to any Civil War belt plate or general relic collection.  Approx. 54 x 85 mm.   SOLD

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US Medium Size Belt Plate

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PC3088
                  US Belt Plate - Rare Medium Size

This excavated medium size US belt plate is a rare find.  Large size US belt plates typically measure around 55 x 86 mm. with the small size plates measuring around 40 x 71 mm. The medium size plates measure around 46 x 77 mm.  Taking the rim damage into account, this example would have measured approximately that size.  With its rim damage, it measures approximately 41 x 71 mm.  The smaller size puppy paw hook arrangement on the rear also indicates that this is indeed the medium style plate and not a large style US plate.  Small size plates did not use puppy paw style hooks.  The brass face is very attractive with its nice even light green patina.  All three attachment hooks are solidly present with one stud out of place.  The lead is solid with some loss at the areas of missing rim.  An example of this plate with the same letter style and size can be found in  the second edition of O'Donnell and Campbell's "American Military Belt Plates", as plate 514 on page 318. This relic was excavated, with permission, at Harrison's Landing in Charles City County, VA., by Gene Cooley.  Mr. Cooley is in his late 80's and still relic hunts today.  To read more about Mr. Cooley please click here.  $195.00   Order Information  or  Questions?

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PC1002
                 US "Puppy Paw" Belt Plate

This US belt plate with the "puppy paw" style attachment hooks has that just dug look.  This plate is actually out of a 20 year old private collection of relics and was excavated in the Richmond, VA area.  The plate is in near perfect condition with only one flaw.  Located at the 2 o'clock position is a slight nick in the rim where most likely it was struck by the digger's tool.  The brass face of the plate with areas still soil covered has a light yellow brown appearance.   The rear lead is smooth and complete with all attachment hooks present.  This plate has no cracks, no breaks (other than the nick mentioned above) and no bends or repairs.  This plate is a very nice looking "definitely dug" example.  Approx.  54 x 85 mm.  SOLD

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