Revolutionary War era American Cartridge Pouch With Original Linen Strap
This early American cartridge box has a wide, white linen sling and trapezoidal block bored out for twenty-four cartridges arranged 7-8-9. The box has a broad, rectangular flap with a faint narrow line impressed along the edge. A long, broad latch tab was secured high up on the underside of the flap with two rows of stitching that are visible on the exterior of the top. The latch tab broke off just below the stitching, but is still with the box. The box is constructed of heavy leather with tall side panels having rounded tombstone tops. The sling is complete and solid, with just a little wear at the lower ends where it enters the rear seam joining the flap to the rear leather panel of the box. The leather, block, and sling are secured by four or five small iron tacks along the reverse upper edge of the box. The leather is very good. The flap shows expected alligatoring to the finish, but just a a couple of wear spots with any loss of finish from rubbing or flexing. There are just some very small tears and edge losses to the flap edges at the point it curves over the side panels. The seams of the box are good and the finish of the body is very good. There is no implement or flint pocket. The base of a finial for the latch tab is visible. It was likely a small leather button.
This has a great early look and could date to the Revolution. From mid to late war, as the supply of leather dwindled, the American's began to use linen for the straps. Very to have stap still inntact, almsot all boxes are missing the strap. Neumann, Battle Weapons, shows some similar boxes, included a nearly identical block in a box intended for wear on a waistbelt on page 26, also having no implement pocket and without a bag bottom. Troiani, Soldiers of the American Revolution has several examples of boxes and accoutrements with linen straps. The linen sling, in particular, gives it a classic early American look. It would be an outstanding addition to an early flint musket.