Item: Excavated US Eagle Plate - Manufacturer Marked "W. H. SMITH / BROOKLYN"
Use: Eagle plates, also known as breast plates, shoulder belt plates, and cross belt plates, were displayed on the belt that held the soldier's cartridge box. The two loop type, such as this one, were ornamental and proudly worn by Union soldiers with the belt slung over the shoulder and across the chest. See the additional images in this listing for an image showing its use.
Construction: Die stamped thin sheet brass with solder fill and two iron wire loops.
Condition: Excellent, non-excavated or possibly an early pick-up. The plate's brass front has a darkening brass patina nicely high-lighting a well-defined eagle, clutching arrows in its right talon and an olive branch in its left. There is a period dent in the rim at the 9-10 o'çlock position. The rear has a complete complement of solder with both belt attachment loops present, straight-up, and in excellent shape. Also on the rear is the manufacturer's stamp of "W. H. SMITH / BROOKLYN". The mark was weakly stamped and shows about half of the letters (see additional images). Also on the rear is an old, now yellow label and the remnants of another. The plate has slight bends from what I would consider period use with no cracks, breaks, or repairs.
Approximate size: 64 mm.
Comments: This eagle plate will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.
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