A wartime belt, held in Quartermaster Dept. inventory for officer purchase, and later marked after the Civil War.
This is a very interesting belt of the Civil War period. The quality, high relief eagle buckle with wide keeper, is the type that an be early war (some think later, but I have seen presentations on the back of these dated in ’62). The belt is stamped “Rock Island Arsenal” on the tongue leather (that piece which extends from the belt and behind the buckle).
Now, with some research done I have found that the establishment of the arsenal began after the Civil War, with the construction of building, gathering machinery,etc., and that no making of accoutrements began until 1875 with the development of Infantry equipments. I know of no officer’s accoutrements being made there anyway.
It has come to my attention, that this belt and others like it were purchased by the Quartermaster Dept. and sold to officers, such as the U.S. marked and dated swords that were provided at cost to officers. The marking on this belt is not the first stamping you see for R.I.A. in cartouche with rounded top border, and was probably placed there in a later date, still being in inventory. Anything held in inventory by the arsenals (RIA anyway), marked just about everything.
It this arsenal marking was not here (and I missed it initially), you would consider it Civil War period instantly.
The belt shows some dryness in a few places, some crackling to the surface in some places, and a few small splits here and there, not too threatening to the belts solidness. I have not treated it, leaving that to the end user. Overall in very good to fine condition.
USPS Priority Mail $14.00