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
706..Confederate buckles and plates, two part "CS" exaggerated serif style

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, Virginia style with exaggerated 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 an exaggerated serif, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers. 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, the style is very similar differing primarily with the addition of the exaggerated serif.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 005 or 006.

P0315...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with exaggerated serif, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P0315.jpg (32282 bytes)P0315B.jpg (22174 bytes) P0315C.jpg (19975 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 an exaggerated serif, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers. 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, the style is very similar differing primarily with the addition of the exaggerated serif. Plate measures: tongue keeper 49.4mm, wreath keeper 48.7mm, wreath 47.9mm. Dug plate, both halves dug together, once one half was found, a sizeable pile of firewood had to be moved to expose the other half! Recovered: Apple Pie Ridge, Frederick Co., Virginia, by Harry Ridgeway, in the 1960's.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 005 or 006.
Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia.

P0867...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with exaggerated 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 an exaggerated serif, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers. 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, the style is very similar differing primarily with the addition of the exaggerated serif. Plate measures: tongue keeper 49.4mm, wreath keeper 48.7mm, wreath 47.9mm. Dug plate, both halves dug together, wreath keeper was broken and has been soldered back together, all parts except the solder are original, this is not a very good way to repair a buckle, but this is what was done in the 1960's. Recovered: Kernstown, Virginia, by Harry Ridgeway.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 005 or 006.

P1320...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with exaggerated 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 an exaggerated serif, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers. 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, the style is very similar differing primarily with the addition of the exaggerated serif. Plate measures: tongue keeper 49.2mm, wreath keeper 48mm, wreath, 49mm. Nondug plate is red in color due to high copper content. The belt is clearly original to the piece and has been altered by the wearer to make a more snug fit. Normally the keeper is clipped on, the wearer removed the clip and sewed it on, this way it fit his waist exactly, no need to deal with the flimsy adjustment flap.. Recovered from an attic in Sandston Ohio, likely a souvenir from Johnson's Island prison camp
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 005 or 006.

P1638...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with exaggerated 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 an exaggerated serif, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers. 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, the style is very similar differing primarily with the addition of the exaggerated serif. Plate measures: tongue keeper 49.0mm, wreath keeper 47.9mm, wreath 48.6mm. Dug plate, matching patina, small bends. Recovered: not known.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 005 or 006.

P1958...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style with exaggerated 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 an exaggerated serif, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers. 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, the style is very similar differing primarily with the addition of the exaggerated serif. Plate measures, keeper, 48.4mm approximate with bends. Dug plate with bends, tongue only. Recovered: Warrenton, Virginia.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plates 005 or 006.