|Description and Photograph||
This beautifully crude Confederate sword belt was most likely intended for use by the enlisted cavalry of the Army of Northern Virginia rather than for an officer. The belt is very well made and is based on the Richmond arsenal style sword belt pattern and I believe it is a Richmond product. It is actually much rarer than the standard Richmond made sword belt. The belt was probably made by one of the many small harness making shops that sold their products to the Richmond Arsenal. I base this opinion on the beltís style and stitching, and the crude casting of the buckle. For a similar specimen, see page 20 of Collecting the Confederacy. Though the belt is a Richmond style, the buckle is a very poor copy of a Leech and Rigdon Belt.
This particular belt has an exceptionally good provenance. It came from lifelong collector and author Norm Flaydermanís collection and still retains Normís collection tag. The green star was placed on the back of the buckle by Norm Flayderman. He marked his belts in this manner when they were photographed for publication. In this case, the belt, and its provenance were published in Steve Mullinaxís Confederate Belt Buckles and Plates on page 33.
The buckle is not a thing of beauty, except to those who appreciate the hardships the Confederates faced and the fact that they faced the mightiest military in the world for four years with only a third of the men and a hundredth or perhaps a thousandth of the manufacturing capability.
The leather is strong and supple. All of the stitching remains tight. Even the sword hangers are strong and supple. The belt is as perfect as one can get, there are no weak places in the belt or the hangers. This belt is so strong that is could easily support a sword on a mannequin and the beltís provenance is impeccable. Flawless!