|Description and Photograph||
This Virginia sword belt plate is based on the model 1851 Federal sword belt plate. This pattern and a similar variation were manufactured from the 1860s until well after the War. Fortunately, the War era examples can be distinguished from the post-War pattern. There are a couple differences in the War time plates and the plates made for Virginia Militia after the War. Based on excavated examples it is thought that only the War era plates have a number stamped into the reverse of the plate; in this case the number us either 34 or 54. The patina is so thick I cannot be certain which is correct. The other difference is that the post-War version has a wider tongue than the plate shown here.
The rarity rating system used in Steve Mullinax’s, Confederate Belt Buckles and Plates gives this plate a rarity rating of five, which is one number lower than the Gaylord manufactured cast Virginia plate. However, I have owned at least a dozen of the Gaylord pattern and this is only the third of this pattern I have owned.
The plate’s non-excavated condition is perfect and it has the deepest, darkest non excavated patina I have ever encountered.