I had posted on another forum, and Dr. Drew suggested I also post here. I have attached some photos for review and comment. It is really a very interesting piece.
Some notable details:
1 - There are 2 threaded holes on the back side of the plate, that appear to be for mounting this plate in a fixture (perhaps to make the cast for the mold?). These holes do not line up with any feature on the front side of the plate.
2 - There are 4 smaller untapped holes on the back side. These are not thru-holes. Two of the holes align with the “drill-starts” for the mounting screws on the front side of the plate, the other 2 do not align with any feature on the front side.
3 - Under magnification the engraving appears to be done by hand, not by machine.
4 - The “pattern” of the checking appears to match original “The L.C. Smith Trap Gun” buttplate examples that I have.
Any insight that anyone can share would be greatly appreciated.