Painted Canvas Belt


Description and Photograph




     The belt plate shown here is common, it is a Model 1851 Yankee Sword Belt Plate.  What is uncommon and truly extraordinary is that it was repurposed by the Confederates and made in to a waist belt plate using painted canvas.  Painted canvas belts and slings are the most desirable from the Confederate era because of two things.  First, it demonstrates the dire material shortages faced by the Confederacy and it demonstrates their ingenuity in overcoming those shortages.  Secondly, because of their fragile nature very few painted canvas accoutrements survive.   

     The South was short of everything; but patriotism and necessity bred innovation.  Companies such as William Brand & Co. and N. Crown of Columbus, Georgia made belts and slings and even whole cartridge and cap boxes from painted cloth.  The Richmond Armory produced a small number of Painted Cloth Pistol Belts with sewn on leather rangers (ends).  There was also a belt and sling manufactured of painted cloth with leather rangers that is believed to have been made in North Carolina.  These can be recognized by their figure eight stitching.

     All of the known examples of Painted Cloth Boxes, Belts and Slings without leather rangers are believed to have been made in the deep South; the only ones positively identified were made in Georgia.  They were issued in some quantity to Infantry serving in the Army of Tennessee.

     The 1851 belt plate has the letters HEN, and ll cut into its reverse.  As can be seen in the images the silver wreath is missing one of its tips.  Belt and keeper have mismatched numbers, which is of course to be expected with a repurposed belt.  The painted canvas is perfect; all stitching is original and tight.  The belt is strong and flexible.

     Flawless, rare and desirable!   




We buy high quality Confederate items.