Armed Texan W/ Rare Star Belt Plate, 6th Plate Ambro
Armed Texan with Rare Star Belt Plate, Civil War Sixth Plate Ambrotype
A fine portrait of young enlisted man with the surname of Bright, wearing a seven or eight button grey frock coat with the low stand-up collar edged with dark colored tape and inverted “V” cuffs tinted light blue. The early war shoulder trim that appears as plain second lieutenant straps may, alternatively, be simply sewn uniform decoration not indicative of rank. The buttons are indistinct while the rare rectangular plate features the iconic five-pointed star emblematic of Texas. He holds a feathered black felt slouch hat lacking insignia with both sides rolled up. An unusual mixture of weaponry includes a holstered Colt revolver in shiny form-fitting holster behind which can be seen the mortised pommel of an Enfield saber bayonet.
Consignor relates that the ambrotype was purchased at the Bright Family estate sale in Dallas, Texas in 2011. CWSS lists 13 men with the surname of Bright in various Texas Confederate units including eight who served in the cavalry, four in the infantry, and one in the artillery. All were enlisted men but the details of the uniform are not enough to link the young soldier to a specific regiment without a first name.
The clear plate ambrotype displays numerous scratches and abrasions at top and along the right mat line. Except for two smaller abrasions on the subjects face, the damage is largely confined to the field, good. with average clarity. Replacing the elliptical mat with an oval would minimize the damage and make for a better display. Housed in a damaged pebbled case with fold over front piece now separated.