Properly sent? email@example.com here?
posted by SMS Mark
Yes I saw your PM. I am not sure what problem you had with email but I have sent your pictures from your post to the museum and asked them for their opinion.
They get a large number of questions so I expect it will be a few weeks before I get a reply.
As soon as they answer I will let you know in this thread so that everyone benefits from the answer.
I have had a very quick reply from the museum as follows;
"Thank you for your enquiry regarding the belt clasp in the images that you have attached.
Iím not sure I am able to give you a definitive answer to your query, as I have not seen a belt clasp quite like this one before. The manufacture and condition, and lack of a laurel wreath suggest it is eighteenth century. However, the presence and design of the St Edwardís crown (I believe it is this crown although the detail is not very clear in your image, and it is possible that it is not even British at all! However, I cannot find anything matching this design in any foreign navies) point to the 1820s to 1850s.
It is of simple, unelaborate construction and so I would expect this to be for a Seaman rather than an Officer. The size of the clasp indicates that it is one half of a snakeís head design, with an S-shaped loop attaching the ends of the belt, rather than a single central clasp. The Royal Marines wore this design of belt clasp at a number of points during the nineteenth century, but always with a lionís head or a lion and crown as the emblem, so I donít think it is related to this branch of the Navy, unless it is pre-1800.
Iím not really sure I can add very much more and most of what I have said is conjecture as I have been unable to find any examples or descriptions of this design of belt clasp. I can only recommend continuing the search for information from other sources in books and online and trying to find out more that way.
Iím sorry I canít be of more help."
So, as you see the museum cannot definately identify your buckle and say that it may not even be British at all. They also say that the crown might be St Edwards Crown (the official coronantion crown of the UK) rather than the one you refer to which is properly called "The New State Crown of George I"
It seems that the construction and quality indicate that it is a seamans item rather than an officer's and that it is likely one half of what is known as a "snake head buckle" and I attach a picture of a US example of this type.
I will keep looking and if I find any more info I will let you know.
I hope this helps a little.
Thanks, will look further. Summer can find something from this.