Re: Confederate officers' belts
Originally Posted by ES1861
Actually, I think you'll find most Confederate officer's belts did not have the shoulder belt. This is based on informal observation rather than a detailed survey, but I believe you'll find it holds true.
The best person I know to provide information on Confederate officers' belts -- especially in the ANV -- is Butch Myers. He has studied numerous originals and can tell you when they were produced, how they were sold, etc. He helped me select a Virginia officer's belt for my impression about a year ago. Based on my memory, here are a few points he related:
Sword belts were produced in shops and provided to merchants in Richmond for sale to officers. Many times the buckle was provided seperately and only attached once the officer made a selection. I believe that you'll find the wreath and spoon type in either a state or CS pattern was most common.
Belts could be either painted leather or folded leather construction. A junior officer would be more likely than a staff or field grade officer to have painted leather. (In terms of price, Butch charges $140 and $225 respectively, or at least he did a year ago.)
The leather Butch uses is thin compared to what most reproductions use, but this is correct. I really can't speak highly enough of his work -- I'd recommend you at least talk to him before making a decision. His belts aren't the cheapest, but are the best I'm aware of and will hold their resale value.
Hope this helps.
Va. Vol. Infy.