RARE M 1872 INDIAN WARS OFFICER’S GOLD BULLION & LEATHER SWORD BELT
Indian Wars Period
Presented is a post Civil War era officer’s dress
saber belt with four bands of gold bullion embroidery sewn on a black Russian leather belt. It is in remarkably
fine original condition and has its original M 1872 spread-winged eagle plate buckle. The rig was made by Pettibone
Mfg. Co from prior to the turn of the 20th Century.
This company grade officer’s in excellent original condition. The thick
Russian leather belt still retains both sword hangers, each with a brass snap shackle, one brass sword hook and one
leather belt loop adjuster, and one brass keeper. The belt measures approximately 43″ long x 13/4″ wide. The stitching
holding the bullion braid to the leather is mostly intact along the top edge, but much of it is loose along its bottom edge.
The cast plate used the sand mold construction method. It measures approximately 3″ x 2 1/16″ and exhibits a fine old bronze
patina overall. The casting detail is sharp and distinct without foundry imprint.
The belt’s interior leather surface is in excellent condition with only a few abrasion
marks show where the black finish has been worn off. There is creasing on the leather showing where it was
folded. The maker’s mark Pettibone Mfg. Co., Cin OH is stamped within an oval on the leather tongue. They used
that name from 1865 to 1900 at which time they were labeled as The Pettibone Bros. Mfg. Co. Sword straps are intact
and clip to the belt proper and are in excellent condition.
Back of buckle with leather tongue
Hook for sword ring
Original M 1851 plateBELT IDENTIFICATION: We are grateful to s director and officer
of the United States Cavalry Association who provided us with the following information:
If the colored silk in the belt is white then it is infantry branch after 1885. If yellow, its
cavalry and could be anytime from 1872 to early 1900’s. The infantry went back to blue some time before WW I.
Field Grade belt had two large, wide gold bullion stripes in place of the four narrow stripes of the company grade belt.
The 1872 uniform also specified gold bullion chest cords (which are actually the retention cord for the Prussian style helmet),
and gold bullion shoulder knots.
For further reference see Farrington “Arming and Equipping the United States Cavalry
1865-1902”, pp 195-198