M1851 Buff Leather Sword Belt - Inventory Number: LEA 163
M1851 Buff Leather Sword Belt
This belt is a fine example of the early, original buff leather, Model 1851, sword belt worn by Federal enlisted cavalrymen prior to and during Civil War. It remains in overall excellent and complete condition, with its original, bench numbered, regulation 1851 pattern, brass eagle belt plate, with its keeper; the belt plate has a one-piece, applied silver wreath. Both long and short leather sword straps and the brass cavalry hook are present. Constructed of strong buff leather, the belt measures 37″ long, 1¾” wide and exhibits a surface that was dyed black on its exterior side, per army regulations of 1851. The leather is in very good condition with no cracking or flaking; some traces of aged verdigris throughout.
The end of the leather belt is run through the rectangular M1851 brass sword belt plate loop and clasped together by means of the early style, flattened brass hook. A separate leather adjuster loop secures the connection. The brass keeper is sewn and riveted to the opposite end of the leather belt. Stitched to the belt exterior, near the keeper, are two, brass D-ring suspension loops that served to anchor the over-the-shoulder strap and short sword strap. Belt retains its original pair of 2″ long, horizontal leather loops that are stitched on the exterior surface and secure a large, square, 1¾” brass suspension ring which supports the long saber strap and anchors the over-the-shoulder strap.
The regulation 1851 pattern, brass, eagle waist belt plate is the rectangular, concave, detailed plate that measures 88.9 mm long x 54 mm high, the cast brass plate has an integral tongue on the reverse and the one-piece, nickel-silver wreath terminating beneath the eagle’s wings. The wreath remains strongly secured to the front face. The plate face has an even, patina and exhibits well-defined edges.
The longer sword strap hanger’s total length measures 14”. The integral brass “D” ring also suspends the brass sword hook. The shorter sword strap hanger’s total length measures 7.25″ long, with both ends looped back. Both straps would loop through the suspension rings on the trooper’s scabbard. All the brass hardware retains a nice, aged patina.