Item: Excavated Federal Sword Belt Plate with Keeper & Inspector Mark
Construction: Cast brass with integral eagle motif and tongue. Applied three piece nickel-silver wreath (now missing).
Condition: Very good, excavated. Its brass has a very pleasing dusty deep green-brown patina. The front, with its stippled background, shows a detailed eagle clutching arrows in its left talons and an olive branch in its right, along with raised rays and thirteen stars above the eagle. Its applied three piece nickel-silver wreath is missing which is typical for excavated examples. The belt attachment bar is present with a slight inward bend. Along one edge of the outer rim is clearly stamped "G.H." This stamp, likely an inspector's initials, is not often found on sword belt plates. The rear retains the belt attachment tongue. There is a minor inward bend in the body of the plate at the belt loop end which is likely a result of period use. There are no cracks, breaks, repairs or major bends.
Approximate size: 53 x 84 mm.
Reference: A similar, but lesser quality, example of this plate can be found in "American Military Belt Plates" by O'Donnell and Campbell on page 379 as plate 622. A scan of this page is included in the additional images.
Comments: It is unknown if the keeper was recovered with the buckle but either way, it's not a bad match. This solid sword belt plate with keeper and stamped initials has a great look and will be an excellent addition to any Civil War plate or general relic collection.
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