Old South Military Antiques

Rarity 10 College Hill Arsenal Buckle
Item #: OS-7443


The CSA two piece buckle shown here is one of the rarest Confederate buckles in existence. Besides this one there is one other example still on its original belt and one excavated example. This maker of this beautiful buckle and the period in which it was made had been in question since the late 1960s when Robert Pope excavated a lone tongue portion and 10 Alabama Volunteer Corps buttons near White Oak Road in Dinwiddie County, Virginia. (Petersburg) For the next three decades no other buckle of this type was discovered. Consequently, there was no proof that it was of War Between the States vintage as it could possibly have been lost by a veteran visiting the fields of his youth. Then another example, on its original belt with an impeccable provenance, was discovered. The belt was purchased from the great-great-grandson of William Boggs, Seventh Ohio Cavalry. Boggs brought the belt and a non-commissioned officer's sword home from the War and both remained with his descendants until 2003. College Hill Arsenal in Nashville, Tennessee made the sword that Boggs captured. The buckle and the sword both had the same, very distinctive gilt. The gilt was distinctive because they both had a somewhat gold spattered appearance and the casting texture was identical.

Swords were usually sold with belts because anyone who carried a sword also needed a sword belt. Because there is well documented proof that these were captured together, and because of the texture and gilt it became certain that this pattern was of War vintage, it could not have been a veteran’s buckle, and it also became certain that it was manufactured by the College Hill Arsenal in Tennessee. The maker having been positively identified placed this buckle in a very select group of Confederate buckles, very few of which can be identified to a specific maker, such as the rectangular CS two piece made by Leech and Rigdon. The other existing buckles of this pattern can be seen on pages 23 and 24 of Collecting the Confederacy. Its specific history, exceptional rarity and beauty will no doubt make this buckle the centerpiece of any Confederate buckle collection.


On Hold