Fakes, reproductions, replicas,
North Carolina oval, Confederate plates 338 & 339
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Originals are stamped, prewar manufacture, lead filled, extremely rare plate.
North Carolina oval Belt
Pictures of this plate were submitted to me for evaluation with the following comment:
"I have just bought a buckle N.C and a friend said it is not real could you please clear this up for me? I paid a lot of money for this buckle as it is very rare. Thank you for any help you can give me. I am sorry for not being an expert on this my self but from what I can tell the hooks are soldered on and coated. It is 3 1/4 long and 2 1/8 wide. Hope you can solve this for me. Thanks again for your help."
Source: question posed by Butch
My response: My opinion is that this buckle is reproduction. The original North Carolina plates were stamped, then lead filled. This plate appears to be a cast copy, some sort of coating is parged onto the back to appear to be lead. The hooks appear to have been cast into the buckle.
After telling Mr Butch that his piece was a fantasy, he listed it on ebay anyway:
ATTENTION: You are bidding on a real nice North Carolina belt buckle. This is a Confederate Buckle and was Dug. It is an oval and in great shape, even has the lead still in it. All Item's are consigned to us by a local Estate to sell. Please check out my other auction's as I am adding new item's evey day. Thanks for your interest and have a good day.
Source: ebay auction by butch4753 5/28/06, "Original N. C. Belt Buckle Item number: 6631735383
Carolina oval buckle
Source: this buckle was submitted to me for second opinion. The person who sent me the pictures had already condemned the buckle.
Editor note: I told my source that I agreed with his diagnosis. I think this may be a die stamped plate, but the die is not quite right and the hooks are not right either. This pattern had stud hooks, but if you look at the example in Mullinax book, these hooks are close but not close enough.
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