Item: Excavated US eagle plate manufacturer marked "W. H. SMITH / BROOKLYN"
Construction: Stamped thin sheet brass with solder fill.
Condition: Very good, excavated. Its brass face, with its detailed eagle clutching arrows in its right talon and an olive branch in its left, has a very pleasing brown patina with light yellow tints. The rear solder is complete with both rusty iron attachment loops still present and bent over. Visible on the rear is the manufacturer's mark of "W. H. SMITH / BROOKLYN". Nearly every complete letter is visible. The plate has no cracks, breaks, bends, or repairs.
Recovered: Brandy Station, VA
Approximate diameter: 65 mm.
Comments: Recovering an eagle plate of this quality today is a very rare occurrence, but digging one with a manufacturer's mark is even rarer. According to O'Donnell and Campbell's buckle reference book, "American Military Belt Plates", Smith marked plates were "common wartime style made by unidentified metal-worker W. H. Smith who supplied the Army with an abundance of regulation enlisted plates during the Civil War." This example will be an excellent addition to any excavated Civil War plate or general relic collection.
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