This kilt was described by the seller only as an "Army Kilt," and no date was given as to the age. From the photographs, it was obviously an old regimental kilt, and the very interesting thing was that it had the same long belt closure method as the kilt Larry Long described to me.
Since the story Larry told me was of a man in Clan Maxwell who had his kilt made by an "old regimental kilt maker" I thought it signifigant that this was a regimental kilt. The tartan is Hunting Stewart.
According to the Scottish Tartans Authority web site, this tartan was worn by the following regiments:
Stewart Hunting – Trews worn by the Royal Scots (The Royal Regiment) First of Foot. Also worn by The Pretoria Highlanders (South Africa); Calcutta Scottish (India); Bombay Volunteer Rifles (India); Shanghai Volunteer Corps (China); Loretto School, Cadet Force, Edinburgh, Scotland.
Now, I have no way of knowing if the above kilt was made for any of these regiments or other groups listed above. But I ran into my old friend Bob Martin at the Gatlinburg Highland Games and Scottish Festival, and if anyone would know about this, he would.
Fortunately, he knew the kilt that I had seen Larry Long wearing, so he knew just what I was talking about. He had never seen another kilt like that (except for one that he said he made), and to his knowledge no regiment ever made their kilts like that.
In fact, he told me, prior to WWII regimental kilts had no fastenings at all. They were held in place by use of two kilt pins. These were not the kilt pins worn in the lower corner of the kilt apron, as we think of them today; these were long straight pins, like lady's hat pins, only made from spring steel. One was worn at the waist line, and the other worn at the top of the two inch rise. (This is why most kilts today typically have two leather straps on the right side, by the way).
After WWII, Bob indicated that they went with standard leather straps and buckles like are used today.
But he did say that a lot of soldiers had kiltmakers put on some form of closure system after the kilts were made. These were individual alterations done to the kilts, and were neither uniform nor sanctioned. Since there was no "standard" way to do it, per se, people could use anything, from buttons to ties to leather straps.
My best working theory right now is that at least one regimental kilt maker came up with this novel method for fastening the kilt, but that it never really caught on (it takes up so much more leather than the more conventional method). Maybe the same kiltmaker resposible for the kilt offered on Ebay also made the Maxwell kilt that Larry Long based his on! Who knows?
For now, it seems, it will remain a mystery!