Civil War Relicman
Harry Ridgeway
Winchester, Virginia USA (changed hands 70 times in the Civil War!)
http://relicman.com/

Ridgeway Reference Library, Civil War plates and buckles
701..Confederate buckles and plates, "CS" Richmond and Virginia style two part

This is the "Ridgeway Reference Archive", a research tool for educational purposes only, and is provided at no cost to the reader. Some of the relics listed are retained in the author's collection, most reside in other collections and are not owned by the author. None of the items listed in this section are for sale, please refer to relicman.com sales listings for items offered for sale. This is a work in progress, I list items as I get to them, there are many patterns that are not listed yet, this list will be regularly updated as I get pictures and descriptions for more items. I will also correct mistakes, so if you see any please tell me. All items listed are believed to be authentic to the Civil War or as otherwise described. Any excavated relics have been recovered from private property with owners permission. This information is available for research purposes, pictures may be used by permission only
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Most information on this page is from:
Plates and Buckles of the American Military 1795 - 1874, by Sydney C. Kerksis
Confederate Belt Buckles & Plates, by Steve E Mullinax
American Military Belt Plates, by Michael J. O'Donnell & J.Duncan Campbell


The Richmond style CS, with straight serif probably originated in Richmond. Pattern 001 is generally the sharpest and largest and was likely the master for the others. Pattern 003 and 004 were likely derived from pattern 001, either as subcontracts or sharing of patterns with other small producers. This is one of the most often faked buckles and difficult to detect because many of the "originals" were thus derivatives or copies of the original pattern, it is challenging to determine which copies were made during the period or by modern producers. Reliable information as to the provenance is an important consideration. In addition the "exaggerated serif ", plate 006 and the pointed serif, plates 007 and 008 may also be derivatives of this pattern.
The manufacturing quality of these cast Confederate plates, varies considerably one casting to the next. Flaws in the master will theoretically appear in each successive example, but there are also flaws introduced or "cleaned up" one casting to the next. In addition, the rough castings needed to be milled and finished, and this process may introduce more variation, particularly as to size. In addition production may have been shared amongst more than one small producer, in which case some original castings could have been made from second generation master patterns. These flaws have been aggressively exploited by the fakers, some fakes are very difficult to tell, some authentic examples may have been inadvertently condemned by the "experts", or the experts simply cannot agree. There is no absolutely certain way to determine the authenticity of any of the plates, other than by making comparison to other examples and having definite irrefutable documentation of original ownership or provenance. An attempt is being made here to narrow the possibilities by showing multiple examples, by comparison conclusions can be drawn and and judgments made, more examples will be added as they can be found to analyze and publish.

Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Richmond style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture
Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, back of disc is concave, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 001.

P0523...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Richmond style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P0523.jpg (42478 bytes)P0523B.jpg (23724 bytes) P0523C.jpg (22867 bytes) Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. Plate measures: tongue keeper 48.1mm, wreath keeper 49.6mm, wreath height 50.4mm. Dug plate, all three of these pieces were found together, an unblemished belt that was simply laid down and forgotten. Recovered: Brandy Station, Virginia, by Johnny Blue.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 001.

P1682...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Richmond style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, back of disc is concave, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. Plate measures: Tongue keeper 50.0mm, wreath keeper 51.5mm, wreath height 50.6mm. Nondug example metal is brass.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 001.


Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture
Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, back of disc is concave, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. This pattern was probably a derivative or subcontract of the Richmond style and will typically be less detailed and a little smaller than the Richmond style.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 003 or 004.
P1173...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P1173.jpg (31792 bytes)P1173B.jpg (24439 bytes) P1173C.jpg (21797 bytes) Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, back of disc is concave, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. This pattern was probably a derivative or subcontract of the Richmond style and will typically be less detailed and a little smaller than the Richmond style. Plate measures: tongue keeper 48.1mm, wreath keeper 48.6mm, wreath height 50mm. Dug buckle, both halves found together with hanger loop. Recovered: Shenandoah Valley Virginia, collection of Howard Crouch.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 003 or 004.

P1515...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, back of disc is concave, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. This pattern was probably a derivative or subcontract of the Richmond style and will typically be less detailed and a little smaller than the Richmond style. Plate measures: tongue keeper 47.5mm, wreath keeper 48.0mm, wreath 50mm. Dug buckle, clean patina, both halves found together with hanger loop. Recovered: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, collection of Howard Crouch.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 003 or 004.

P1819...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with straight serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.

Buckle depicts "CS" and is a two part tongue and wreath plate broadly used in the Confederacy. This style is noted for lettering with tall straight serifs, wreath with laurel leaves, plain keepers, and beveled connecting bars. Plate is cast, tongue disc is stepped up for placement in the wreath, back of disc is concave, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Richmond Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturers, there can be variations one casting to the next. This pattern was probably a derivative or subcontract of the Richmond style and will typically be less detailed and a little smaller than the Richmond style. Plate measures: tongue keeper 47.8mm, wreath keeper 48.8, wreath 50.0mm. Nondug plate, copper patina.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 003 or 004.