Fakes, reproductions, replicas,
an investigative report, by Harry Ridgeway 

Fakes, reproductions, replicas,

CS two part buckle, balls serifs, Confederate plates 013 to 014

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Original is noted for the rounded serifs, flat back tongue bar, oak leaf wreath with flat back, and wreath that is badly off center.  Diggers often refer to this as the "Culpeper CS"  because a good many have been found there, but that is not the only source and they certainly were not made there.

    CS two part buckle "ball serifs" style

Editor note:  yep relicman got stuck with this one!  Plate was originally purchased from Cal Packard, Mansfield Ohio, at the Charleston SC show in 2000.  The plate was determined to be fake in 2006.  Cal does not believe he should accept this plate back, he paid $500 toward the original purchase price of $2,000, I do have a written receipt from him, in his handwriting at the time of the sale.  It matches the Hanover Brass example in every detail so I have to eat it so I am left with the loss, not Cal.  There are no maker marks on this plate, never were that I can find.  Cal says he "guarantees" the items he sells, I guess that means we are supposed to simply accept his authority, it means he guarantees that it is his opinion that the item is good, but it does not mean he will refund money when his judgment is proven wrong!   That seems like a rather hollow "guarantee" to me.  I should note that I have had items returned to me, which I have honored, and I have returned other items to other dealers. 

Additional note:  This plate has been handled, scraped, rubbed, smelled, tasted, hundreds of times.  By now there are spots of raw brass passing through, but I can assure you none of this was present in 2000 when I bought this plate.  This had a patina to kill for.  You cannot authenticate or condemn a plate based on patina alone, you have to use other clues.

Apparently this plate was manufactured originally by Hanover Brass.  There are no maker or other distinguishing marks on this plate, so was this intended to be a "repro" as suggested or was this made to be placed into the fakes market from the beginning?

F1188     CS two part buckle "ball serifs" style manufactured by Hanover Brass
F1188.jpg (43264 bytes) 
F1188B.jpg (26988 bytes) F1188C.jpg (28336 bytes) F1188D.jpg (36632 bytes) F1188E.jpg (31793 bytes)
Tongue keeper 44.9mm
Wreath keeper 45.6mm
Wreath height 46.8mm

Plate was obtained directly from Hanover Brass with the following comment:
"Look for flaw in tongue and in the S line."

Editor note: Plate was obtained directly from Hanover Brass as a sample of his production.  Note that any maker marks on this buckle are weak, apparently so that they can be easily removed or obscured. 

F1020    "Ball Serifs" CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle, manufactured by Hanover Brass
"This reproduction CS "Ball Serifs" style Two Piece is a MUST for anyone who enjoys civil war belt buckles. It is cast from yellow brass. Associated with the Army of Northern Virginia. Has original look."

Source: ebay auction by jaglady00 3/12/06 ""Ball Serifs" CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle Plate Item number: 6611817016"

Editor note: "jaglady00" is Hanover Brass, items sold as reproductions.   

F1191     CS two part buckle "ball serifs" style manufactured by Tim Parsley
F1191.jpg (42764 bytes) 
F1191B.jpg (24809 bytes) F1191C.jpg (30109 bytes) F1191D.jpg (35162 bytes) F1191E.jpg (29192 bytes) 
Tongue keeper 44.8mm
Wreath keeper 44.1mm
Wreath height 46.7mm

Editor note: Plate was obtained directly from Tim Parsley.  There is a light "P" stamped onto both pieces, but this can be easily removed or covered.

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