Fakes, reproductions, replicas,
an investigative report, by Harry Ridgeway 


Fakes, reproductions, replicas,
CS two piece buckles, Leech & Rigdon,  Confederate plates 030 to 044 

Disclaimer:  by clicking onto this page you are expressly accepting the terms of the disclaimer explained fully on the fakes main page.



Original is noted for tall plain letters without serifs, very crude manufacture, some with oak leaf wreaths, some with plain wreaths (which may be later generations of the oak leaf missing the detail of the oak leaf), generally flat bar, popular target for fakers because they are so crude and varied.



FP0752
P0752.jpg (30690 bytes)   CS two part buckle, Leech & Rigdon variant  

See comments below, as this is a "fantasy", there will not be any authentic examples out there of this pattern.


Gary Williams explanation, (civilwarfakes.com Photo # CS2P30

Plate 009 & 036 mixed. (variant tall belt loops) CS Two Piece Belt Plate. 54 x 82/wreath ht.43mm. Stamped GW in the back of tongue. From the John Turner collection. This was probably cast by a small foundry in Tennessee. This is the only one I have seen. The CS center is the bar type Virginia style. This belt plate should not be a problem. Check out the flaws.

Editor comment:  Thank you, Gary for telling us about this fake, in 2007 several years after it was made and placed into the collector community.  I bought it from John Turner in 2002, along with several others, they turned out to be fakes too probably, this one I retained for my own collection because it was a variant I had not seen.  You were silent as Turner was marketing these plates, I do not find any indication that you attempted to warn collectors, or that you marked these plates in any way to distinguish them.  At the time Turner was thought to have had a big collection of terrific buckles, indeed he won many awards for his buckle displays, including "Best of Show" award in 1999 at the Dalton show for his display of his Confederate plates.  Mullinax and O'Donnell featured his name in the Confederate book nearly 20 times.  Now you tell us that you made multiple copies of his plates, which you gave to him and isn't it convenient that you told him you gave him repros.  Does that clear you?  For all those years you were silent.  Now we know that many of these buckles were fake and that the two of you worked together to disguise and conceal the true identity of them.  Blame it on the "book men" who were naive, (yes they missed it or turned a blind eye), blame it on the greed of the dealers, (yep they sold these plates and produced letters and some of them made lots of money) blame it on the stupidity and naivete of the collectors (yes, I am one of them), but what is common to all these fakes, you made them.  Shame on you, Gary Williams!!!!!! 


This is one of the more conventional patterns of Leech and Rigdon, apparently they have flooded the market with these:  


F1244   Leech & Rigdon" CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle 
        
"AUCTION IS FOR A AUTHENTIC CS CIVIL WAR 2-pc BUCKLE PLATE STILL ON ORIGINAL LEATHER BUFF BELT, BUCKLE IS A LEECH AND RIGDON PLATE AND IS 100% GUARANTEED GENUINE. THIS IS SIMILAR TO PLAE 034 ON PAGE 27 IN THE MULINAX GUIDE TO CONFEDERATE PLATES. THIS IS A VERY RARE PLATE AND WAS BOUGHT FROM A DEALER AT THE NASHVILLE CIVIL WAR SHOW ABOUT 6 YEARS AGO BY ME PERSONALLY. APPEARS TO HAVE BEEN STORE IN HIGH HUMIDITY FOR A LONG TIME. LEATHER IS VERY STIFF AND HAS A ODOR. GREAT SHAPE, HEAVY PATINA. PLEASE EMAIL WITH ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS BEFORE BIDDING. 3 DAY INSPECTION PERIOD WILL BE ALLOWED. THANKS FOR LOOKING AND GOOD LUCK. US SHIPPING WILL BE $6.00"

Source: ebay auction by vintage_comics_and_collectibles 12/1/06: "AUTHENTIC CS CIVIL WAR 2-pc BUCKLE W/ ORIGINAL LEATHER 100% GUARANTEED GENUINE LEECH & RIGDON BUCKLE WOW...... Item number: 250053855781"

Editor note:  This seller sells on ebay auction under "Private Auction"It is highly doubtful this piece can be shown to be authentic.  


Further the details of this buckle seem to match a repro now known to have been manufactured by Hanover Brass:

 Gary Williams explanation, (civilwarfakes.com Photo # CS2P26

Plate 036 ( Leech & Rigdon) CS Two Piece Belt Plate. 52 x 80/wreath ht.42mm. John Turner collection. GW stamped in the back. Army of Tennessee belt plate and crude casting. Another you need to study before you buy.


F1248   Leech and Rigdon CS two piece buckle
F1248.jpg (17029 bytes) F1248B.jpg (16117 bytes) F1248C.jpg (18864 bytes) F1248D.jpg (12996 bytes) F1248E.jpg (9834 bytes) F1248F.jpg (12611 bytes) F1248G.jpg (10553 bytes) 
"AUCTION IS FOR A AUTHENTIC SHILOH DUG CS CIVIL WAR 2-pc BUCKLE PLATE, BUCKLE IS A LEECH AND RIGDON PLATE AND IS 100% GUARANTEED GENUINE. THIS IS SIMILAR TO PLAE 034 ON PAGE 27 IN THE MULINAX GUIDE TO CONFEDERATE PLATES. THIS IS A VERY RARE PLATE AND WAS EXCAVATED ABOUT 2 MILES FROM THE SHILOH BATTLEFIELD IN A EMCAMPMET SITE BACK IN THE EALRY 1980's. GREAT SHAPE, HEAVY PATINA. PLEASE EMAIL WITH ANY AND ALL QUESTIONS BEFORE BIDDING. 3 DAY INSPECTION PERIOD WILL BE ALLOWED. THANKS FOR LOOKING AND GOOD LUCK. US SHIPPING WILL BE $6.00"

Source ebay auction 11/6/06 by vintage_comics_and_collectibles: "AUTHENTIC SHILOH DUG CS CIVIL WAR 2-pc BUCKLE PLATE 100% GUARANTEED GENUINE LEECH & RIGDON BUCKLE WOW...... Item number: 250046314288"

Editor note:  This seller sells on ebay auction under "Private Auction"It is highly doubtful this piece can be shown to be authentic.  

This buckle has now been submitted by the buyer to me for examination with the following result:
F1248R.jpg (33270 bytes)
F1248S.jpg (18173 bytes) F1248T.jpg (16055 bytes) F1248U.jpg (22472 bytes) F1248V.jpg (23013 bytes) 
Tongue keeper 52.5mm
Wreath keeper 52.6mm
Wreath height 42.1mm

Editor note:  On examination and measurement, this appears to match the details of the Hanover Brass example in all material details, I do not believe that this buckle can be shown to be authentic.


F1061     Leech & Rigdon" Variant CS 2-Piece Belt

Taken from a webpage:  "C.S. Leech and Rigdon two-piece belt buckle. Perfect dug example with an olive patina. Dug in one of Forrest's cavalry camps in West Tennessee. 

Editor note:  This was taken from a reputable webpage, obviously the owner felt it to be authentic at the time.  I have now examined it and the webpage seller withdrew it and returned it to its source.


F1022     Leech & Rigdon" CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle manufactured by Hanover Brass
 
"This reproduction CS "Leech & Rigdon" style Two Piece is a MUST for anyone who enjoys civil war belt buckles. It is cast from red brass. Associated with the Western theater. Has original look"

Source: ebay auction by jaglady00 3/12/06 ""Leech & Rigdon" CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle Plate Item number: 6611818261"

Editor note: "jaglady00" is Hanover Brass, items sold as reproductions.   


F1023     Leech & Rigdon" Variant CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle manufactured by Hanover Brass
  
"This reproduction CS "Leech & Rigdon" style Two Piece is a MUST for anyone who enjoys civil war belt buckles. It is cast from red brass. Associated with the Western theater. Usually the CS letters have sand pull in the original. Has original look."

source ebay auction by jaglady00 3/15/06 ""Leech & Rigdon" Variant CS 2-Piece Belt Buckle Plate Item number: 6612514467"

Editor note: "jaglady00" is Hanover Brass, items sold as reproductions.   


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