I was on my way back from working a few days in Ottawa today and decided to stop for a quick 2hr hunt at a site where I've already had some success at finding War of 1812 relics! This site has been pounded to death by at least a half dozen others over the past 4 - 5 years, so I'm happy just to get any scrap of a relic they might have left behind! Well today it seems they left something really big for me to find! I found the large brass cruet stand base first, then the brass harness buckle. There was a ton of trash to get through on this area, so I took my time and dug anything that gave a solid non-ferrous reading, hence all of the trash.
I then got a solid 85 - 86 at 8" and thought ... "wow this must be big" then out of the hole came the hat badge! I dropped down to my knees, knowing full well what I had just found and all I could say was OMG, OMG, OMG, please let this be real! I had to take a quite a number of insitue pictures, as all the pics were coming out blurry because my hands kept shaking.
I will leave this to the experts here to help me I.D. exactly what this plate is. I can tell you that it's solid, heavy and still has some of the leather / felt on the back!
Thanks for looking,
This piece is a Victorian Period (1837 - 1901) British Army Mounted Officer’s Breastplate/Martingale Badge
"This is a general service pattern, pre-1902 martingale badge, which seems to have featured a Guelphic crown, perhaps in association with Prince Albert. They were worn across the horse's chest. This would have been worn on the chest of the horse held by three straps, two on either side of its flanks from beneath the saddle with a third, central strap, running beneath the horses' chest to the girth strap. The strap originally attached the underside of the noseband to the girth, in order to keep the horse's head down. Either the badge or the leather pad on which it sits is in many cases heart shaped, reflecting that it (the badge) sits over the horses’ heart. There were also regimental versions and the crown changed with the sovereign, just as with cap badges and other insignia. Invariably martingale badges took the same 'garter' shape as that adopted as a template for Glengarry badges and, similarly, the centre often bore a unit motif."
Thanks again for your help on the I.D. Rick!
Here are a couple of pics of the piece after a light brushing with combination of beeswax & paraffin wax.