Featuring military style rank, this flock of gilt eagles truly makes this a super Civil War rarity from the field of ladies’ fashion.
I have seen over the years far more examples of gold patriotic belt buckles worn by northern ladies, but never anything like this. This two piece buckle looks Romanesque in style with highly detailed acanthus leaf border with floral rosettes at its corners (the center and connecting ones larger to accommodate a brace at center). Each panel bears a large eagles clutching both olive branch and arrows (more like bolts of lightening) with their talons, while those larger eagles are surrounded by small versions above and below.
The eagles are placed on reddish-brown Moroccan leather. Unfortunately one small eagle is missing. The construction is gilt brass, and tin panels that support the leather.
Size is 4 x 4.5 inches. The buckle arches outward nearly 3/4 of an inch. The material for the belt may have been something like brocade or woven wool like military belt from a decade or more earlier.
It was found in a pile of military objects at a Long Island auction just recently. No other provenance.
Although one eagle has flown the coop, the eyes fill in the lose and it really is not that noticable.