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
859..Confederate buckles and plates, CS oval belt buckles, "CS with eleven stars" CS plates

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.

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 oval belt plate, CS, with eleven stars, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture
Buckle depicts "CS" and is surrounded by eleven stars, representing the states of the Confederacy. Plate is cast, hooks were originally cast straight up, then bent into place once the casting was removed from the mold. These plates are noted for poor workmanship, and almost all of them have a major casting flaw in the very center of the buckle.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 159.

P0415...Confederate oval belt plate, CS, with eleven stars, cast, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P0415.jpg (34733 bytes) P0415B.jpg (32664 bytes) Buckle depicts "CS" and is surrounded by eleven stars, representing the states of the Confederacy. Plate is cast, hooks were originally cast straight up, then bent into place once the casting was removed from the mold. These plates are noted for poor workmanship, and almost all of them have a major casting flaw in the very center of the buckle. Plate measures 50.2mm X 75.2mm. Dug plate, the casting flaw in the center eventually became a hole, likely a soldier started messing with it and eventually poked something through it. Buckle is whole, there is a crack around part of the C that has been filled in. Recovered: by Sam Kinsey in 1992 from Calhoun, GA, the original discovery was published in the NST Vol XIX, No 3, May - June 1992, pg 8.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 159.