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Inter war Sam Browne belts..... Dateable?

Article about: I know that dating Sam Browne belts has always been a bit problematic, but i noticed something today (doubt I'm the first) that got me thinking. Most of mine are ww2+, but I'm sure some are

  1. #1
    ILH
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    Default Inter war Sam Browne belts..... Dateable?

    I know that dating Sam Browne belts has always been a bit problematic, but i noticed something today (doubt I'm the first) that got me thinking. Most of mine are ww2+, but I'm sure some are earlier.

    The things i noticed were not the dee's or the frog hangers, but the stitching pattern to the rear of the sword hangar and the position of the belt stud.
    Pics 2 and 3 show the change in stitching from rounded to pointed (all my ww2+ ones have pointed stitching).
    Pic 1 has 5 belts, top to bottom:
    1) unmarked, (round stitch) (also narrow flourish to end of stitching), belt stud not inline with 1st dee and frog hanger.
    2) as above,
    3) made by LG Wilkinson (so 1919+)
    4) made by Hawkes (Saville & 14 Picadilly so 1912+) named to Lt R Taylor RAMC (pointed stitch and trapezoidal hangers) (off pattern sword hook, also a cavalry frog!)
    5) made by Wilmot Bennet, Walsall, 1937 (the black one with pointed stitch and square hangers)

    As you can see 1-4 have trapezoidal hangers ( an old rule-of thumb for preww2 belts), but 4 has the pointed stitch, and only 1-2 have the out-of-line belt stud.

    So does anyone know when:
    A) the belt stud moved? (prior to 1937)
    B) the stitch went from rounded to pointed? (somewhere between 1919 and 1937)
    C) the hangers changed from trapezoidal to square? (somewhere between 1919 and 1937)

    I have fired off similar enquiries to the KW team and to LG Wilkinson, but hope you guys know something too (even if it is more rule-of-thumb type info)

    thanks, jim.
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  2. #2
    CBH
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    Can't really add anything , but I like the thread and i wish you luck . I have a few belts hanging around that I too wouldn't mind dating , I'll have to post some .
    Cheers Chris

  3. #3
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    Quote by CBH View Post
    Can't really add anything , but I like the thread and i wish you luck . I have a few belts hanging around that I too wouldn't mind dating , I'll have to post some .
    It is a lot more fun dating women.

  4. #4
    ILH
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    Quote by SteveR View Post
    It is a lot more fun dating women.
    I'm an archaeologist..... I'll date anything ;-p

  5. #5
    CBH
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    In my youth I too , must have been an Archaeologist . LoL
    Now I'm too jaded , like the SS buckle market !
    Cheers Chris

  6. #6

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    I don't know if I would say that the differences come from different eras and ages or else they resulted from different manufactures, sewing machine patterns,etc-maybe even from different Service branches and their individual suppliers. It's an intriguing puzzle, but the round to pointed stitching, for example, may well have resulted from machines being replaced-probably one at a time as needed- and one not having the ability to stitch exactly as the previous machine did. Unfortunately, without date stamps, I'm thinking it's going to be a near impossible thing to narrow down much further than you already have.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  7. #7
    ILH
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    Thanks Wagriff, they do vary between manufacturers, but not by much... This stitching thing is very noticable when I lay them all out. I'm looking at a few in a museum today and if anyone wants to post pics of their dated( even by provenance alone) I'd appreciate it..... Thinking it might be time for a typology

  8. #8
    CBH
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    Here are mine , top belt unmarked used by RCA officer in WWII early post war , second WWI named to a Lt G Doucet marked C/l\ 5 also has faint makers stamp , the two below are unmarked only solider numbered , bandolier is marked Ottwa 1913 C/l\ , and the bottom is a belt I picked up yesterday ! If you'd like more photos just ask .
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    Cheers Chris

  9. #9
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    I agree, I also have struggled in the past to accurately date Sam Browne Belts (and still do). I did come across a fairly useful site which does aid in identifying these belts and the era they were manufactured. It also gives reference to some of the significant changes in design and refer's to Army Dress Regs etc. Here is a link - Sam Browne Equipment
    Last edited by MSlusa; 06-01-2016 at 08:01 PM.

  10. #10
    ILH
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    Thanks Chris,
    Great to see the round stitching on your ww1 SB!

    I am jealous of all the rest (depending on the 1908 belt markings. The two non SB belts are beautiful but I've not seen similar UK belts. Interesting that Canada was still doing those bandoliers in 1913, the UK superseded them with 1901 and then 1903 patterns.
    Thanks again, Jim.

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