Shoulder Belt Plates

Shoulder belt plates have been used by military forces around the world for centuries. They have evolved in style over time from buckled cross straps to single shoulder belts with plates and pouches. Various different styles of shoulder belt plates and pouches have been adopted by different military forces, some of which varied by rank. These plates were typically made of metal and often elaborately designed and decorated.

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Militaria Shoulder Belt Plates

In military uniforms, a shoulder belt is a wide belt worn usually over the shoulder and across the body.

With nearly all line infantry, skirmishers, light infantry, grenadiers and guard regiments, two shoulder belts were worn - one carrying the cartridge box, and another for the bayonet, a sword or other military equipment.

A shoulder belt was worn in various configurations, depending on army and rank. For example, an officer may have only worn one shoulder belt as appropriate for only having a pistol. A light horseman may have also worn one shoulder belt, for their cartridge pouch.

Initially shoulder belts had buckles. In the second half of the 18th century the British army replaced buckles with shoulder belt plates. The latter ones were solid metal plates fixed with two studs to one end of the belt and used a hook to pass through one of several holes by the other end. This arrangement allowed for quick readjustment and a neater appearance.

Over time, shoulder belt plates became increasingly ornate, featuring intricate designs and symbols that reflected the unit's history, location, or achievements. Some plates also included the monarch's cypher or other symbols of authority.

 

Ceremonial Shoulder Belt Plates

In addition to their practical use, shoulder belt plates also had ceremonial significance. They were often used in formal military parades and ceremonies and were seen as symbols of the unit's history and tradition.

Ceremonial shoulder belt plates are highly sought after by collectors of militaria. They are valued for their historical significance, as well as their artistic and decorative qualities. Many collectors focus on specific units or conflicts and seek out plates that are associated with those areas of interest.

Officers used to wear fancy gold and silver plates with elaborate engravings. Soldiers wore brass plates, usually with numerical or other design indicative of their regiment.

 

How do I start Collecting Shoulder Belt Plates

To start collecting shoulder belt plates, you can begin by researching the different types of plates and the countries and time periods in which they were used. You may also want to explore the different materials and designs that were used to make these plates, as well as any historical significance or stories associated with them.

When you start your collection, you may want to focus on a particular time period, country, or design that interests you.

 

How do I care for my Shoulder Belt Plate collection?

We recommend you consider displaying your collection in a shadow box or other type of display case to showcase your pieces and protect them from damage.

As with any collection, it's important to take proper care of your shoulder belt plates. Store them in a dry and cool environment, away from direct sunlight or moisture. You may also want to consider using gloves when handling your plates to avoid damaging them with oils from your hands.

 

How do I Start Collecting Military Shoulder Belt Plates?

If you are interested in starting a collection of military shoulder belt plates, there are a few things you should keep in mind.

First, it's important to research the history and significance of the shoulder belt plates you are interested in collecting.

This can help you understand the context in which they were used and their importance within the military organisation.

Start collecting today by creating a customer account for free and get lifetime access to buy and sell militaria with us.

Overall, collecting military shoulder belt plates can be a rewarding hobby for those with an interest in military history and artefacts.

With careful research, purchasing, and care, you can build a collection that showcases the important role these items have played in military history.

 

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