This rare old buckle is solid sterling silver. It was made by a very talented Hopi silversmith working under the auspices of the prestigious Hopi Silver Crafts Cooperative Guild.
The buckle is made in the Guild's officially sanctioned style of jewelry-making known as 'silver overlay'. It's a distinct and intricate craft that makes Hopi jewelry unique and recognizable.
Overlay pieces are made of two layers. The bottom sterling silver layer is a solid piece. The top sterling silver layer has a design of a scene, figure or symbol, meticulously cut out and then placed over the bottom layer. The two pieces are “sweated” together, that is heated, so they become one. The bottom layer is the background behind the cutouts and is traditionally darkened (oxidized) for contrast. The result is this 3-D picture of a bird with great contrast and depth.
The buckle measures 1 by 2 inches. It weighs 19.4 grams. The opening for a belt measures 13/16 inch. The back is hallmarked with the sun face symbol of the Hopi Silver Crafts Guild and another mark that may be the artist's signature...can't make it out. Circa 1960. Unpolished excellent vintage condition.
The Hopi Guild was started by artists Fred Kabotie and Paul Saufkie in the late 1940s with the support of the Hopi Tribal Authority. Kabotie and Saufkie were instrumental in developing this Hopi style of silver work.
Free domestic shipping.
Click on FAVORITE SHOP and be the first to see our newest listings.
FREE Domestic Shipping
Old HOPI Bird Sterling Silver Belt Buckle - Cutout Overlay Signed