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
709..Confederate buckles and plates, two piece CS flat back 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 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 tongue with flat bar, letters not proportionate, 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 small fat letters not proportionate, the top of the S is much smaller than the bottom, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers which are not symmetrical. Plate is cast, tongue disc bar is flat, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Roman numeral "III" scratched in the back of the wreath is probably a pattern number as it appears in most examples. Plate is believed to have been made in Virginia Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturer, there can be variations one casting to the next.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 009.


P1113...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style tongue with flat bar, letters not proportionate, keepers are plain, wreath adorned with laurel leaves, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P1113.jpg (26763 bytes)P1113B.jpg (20562 bytes) P1113C.jpg (18307 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 small fat letters not proportionate, the top of the S is much smaller than the bottom, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers which are not symmetrical. Plate is cast, tongue disc bar is flat, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Roman numeral "III" scratched in the back of the wreath is probably a pattern number as it appears in most examples. Plate is believed to have been made in Virginia Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturer, there can be variations one casting to the next. Plate measures: tongue keeper 47.0mm, wreath keeper 50.0mm, wreath height 47.9mm. Dug buckle, both halves dug together. Recovered: Brandy Station, Virginia, by Robert Coli.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 009.
Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia.

P1967...Confederate tongue and wreath buckle, CS, Virginia style tongue with flat bar, letters not proportionate, 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 small fat letters not proportionate, the top of the S is much smaller than the bottom, wreath with laurel leaves, and plain keepers which are not symmetrical. Plate is cast, tongue disc bar is flat, wreath has a channel around the back side of the wreath. Plate is believed to have been made in Virginia Virginia during the war and production may have been shared with more than one manufacturer, there can be variations one casting to the next. Plate measures, tongue keeper 48mm, approx with bends, wreath keeper 49mm, estimate with bends, wreath 48mm. Dug plate, both halves are believed to have been dug together, fit is perfect, the keepers never seem to match and they did not need to match, they were covered with the belt. Recovered: Orange, Virginia.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 009.