Stamped brass plate lead filled. This plate was patterned 1839 and circulated mainly from 1857 to 1863. It was most often issued on a black buff leather belt with a standing leather loop. Many “puppy paw” plates were issued with a thin leather patch on the back of the buckle. To date, research is inconclusive as to the reason for this. It may have been used to pad the lead backing or to take-up room from the sometimes large stand-off puppy paws used by some manufacturers.
“American Military Belt Plates” by Michael J. O’Donnell, Pg. 304, plate #487.