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
873..Confederate buckles and plates, "standard" style frame buckles

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 frame buckle, "standard" style, Confederate wartime manufacture
The "standard" style frame buckles refers to the class of Confederate frame buckles made with integral raised hooks, and a flat back. Not much is really "standard" there are many variations, but his style was considered the standard or starting point from which other styles were derived. These frame buckles were made during the war in the Confederacy, they were not used by militia units prior to the war and there was no military need for them after the war. These represented a simple and highly effective design that the Confederacy could produce in quantity quickly, and the troops in the field in the early campaigns were equipped with them. Supplies of the various CS plates generally followed later. The originals of these plates are fairly crude, and of course the fakes are made from these so they are crude as well, There is no sure fire way to know the authenticity of any of the plates, other than by irrefutable documentation of ownership or provenance. However an attempt is being made here to narrow the possibilities by showing multiple examples, hopefully by comparison conclusions can be drawn and and judgments made. I plan to add many more examples as I can find them to publish.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 173.

P0282...Confederate frame buckle, "standard" style, Confederate wartime manufacture.
The "standard" style frame buckles refers to the class of Confederate frame buckles made with integral raised hooks, and a flat back. Not much is really "standard" there are many variations, but his style was considered the standard or starting point from which other styles were derived. These frame buckles were made during the war in the Confederacy, they were not used by militia units prior to the war and there was no military need for them after the war. These represented a simple and highly effective design that the Confederacy could produce in quantity quickly, and the troops in the field in the early campaigns were equipped with them. Supplies of the various CS plates generally followed later. Plate measurements not obtained. Dug buckle, some bends and a small break. Recovered: Shenandoah Valley, Virginia, by Steve Baker.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 173.

P0360...Confederate frame buckle, "standard" style, Confederate wartime manufacture.
P0360A.JPG (24895 bytes) P0360B.JPG (24637 bytes)The "standard" style frame buckles refers to the class of Confederate frame buckles made with integral raised hooks, and a flat back. Not much is really "standard" there are many variations, but his style was considered the standard or starting point from which other styles were derived. These frame buckles were made during the war in the Confederacy, they were not used by militia units prior to the war and there was no military need for them after the war. These represented a simple and highly effective design that the Confederacy could produce in quantity quickly, and the troops in the field in the early campaigns were equipped with them. Supplies of the various CS plates generally followed later. Plate measures 70mm x 62mm, (approximate with bends)Dug buckle has some bends and breaks but is entirely intact. Recovered: Harry Ridgeway, Second Battle of Winchester along the stone wall on the Ridgeway property that is depicted in the 1856 painting, "The View of Winchester".
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 173.
Old Court House Civil War Museum, Winchester, Virginia

P1620...Confederate frame buckle, "standard" style, Confederate wartime manufacture.
The "standard" style frame buckles refers to the class of Confederate frame buckles made with integral raised hooks, and a flat back. Not much is really "standard" there are many variations, but his style was considered the standard or starting point from which other styles were derived. These frame buckles were made during the war in the Confederacy, they were not used by militia units prior to the war and there was no military need for them after the war. These represented a simple and highly effective design that the Confederacy could produce in quantity quickly, and the troops in the field in the early campaigns were equipped with them. Supplies of the various CS plates generally followed later. Plate measures 63.6mm x 72.5mm. Dug buckle, no significant bends or breaks. Recovered: central Virginia.
Ref: Mullinax Expanded Edition, Plate 173.