Pre-Civil War Militia Leather Belt with 2-Piece Eagle Belt Plate


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Pre-Civil War Militia Leather Belt with 2-Piece Eagle Belt Plate – This early leather belt, which appears to have been enameled with a black paint, in the period of use, was, at its inception, a sword belt, with leather sword drops sewn to the belt proper; remnants of the stitching that affixed the sword drops are visible. During the course of its use, possibly during the Civil War, a creative individual made two primitive, sheet brass, sword hangers, now enclosed over the belt; these sliding clips were soldered together – each has a small, heavy gauge, wire loop for the attachment of militia style, chain sword drops. The tongue and wreath, Eagle belt plate is completely cast and retains a considerable amount of original gilding; it is comparable to Plate 296, in Michael O’Donnell’s book. Of additional interest is the added, leather, size adjuster strap, affixed to the interior side of the belt; this adjuster, with a small roller buckle for changing the tautness of the belt, is comparable to the interior adjuster strap on a the first iteration of the U.S. M1855 Rifleman’s belt. Finally, appearing on the waist side of the wreath is the number “17”. This is a rarely found belt, with an early plate, that may have had Confederate refurbishing and use during the Civil War. The belt and plate remain in excellent condition.