Solid Sterling Silver with Sterling Overlay. 3.0 X 1.25.
Will accept a belt of up to. This small Belt Buckle was made by noted Navajo silversmith Tommy Singer. It is signed with a "THOMAS SINGER STERLING" hallmark on the back of the buckle. It is guaranteed to be Sterling Silver and authentic. It is not very old and based on the Hallmark, my guess is that he made it about 20 or so years ago.This is one of his many smith marks. According to Barton Wright in "Hallmarks of the Southwest" (page 156), he has used used ten or so. It features a Dine' pastoral scene with livestock being herded under a sky wit a few clouds and a Monument Valley type butte in the background. The figures in relief were all cut out of a sheet of silver with a small handsaw and then fused to the lower layer of Sterling Silver. It was made about midway in his career of over half a century of making remarkable Navajo Indian Jewelry.
I've seen and have traded lots of his work and have always enjoyed the experience. Tommy was a pioneer in several areas of Native American Indian jewelry. He is famous worldwide for his development of the "Chip Inlay" technique as demonstrated in the Buckle.As a Navajo artist, he is an early adopter and remains a recognized expert in the silver smithing technique of Silver Overlay. As a member of the now popular Native American Church, the Peyote Bird and rituals involving it, became a popular theme in his early creations. This one is great of his work. I personally own several Tommy Singer belt buckles for my personal enjoyment and to wear. I love the variety of techniques and skills that were demonstrated in the making of this.
If you feel the same magic, read on.. In the 1930's, the University of Northern Arizona helped Hopi silversmiths develop a unique style and technique to differentiate themselves from the Navajos.
It involves bonding of two formerly distinct sheets of Sterling Silver and is known as Silver Overlay. For decades, the Hopi have excelled at this and to some it defines the Hopi Style. Since Tommy Singer's early career in the 1960's, he has worked in Silver Overlay, which was not typical for a Navajo artist at the time. He has won countless awards and is considered a master. This very fine example of his innovative early work.
Tommy Singer was born in 1940. He passed away in the Spring of 2014. He was often seen at Indian Fairs, Gem Shows, visiting stores in Gallup and all around Indian Country.
His likeness and several of his creations are pictured in "American Indian Jewelry 1" by Gregory Schaaf (pages 291-292). There are numerous articles and features about him in countless books and other publications. He is widely collected and his work appears in museums from The Peabody Museum at Harvard to The University of Colorado. Here is what Tommy Singer had to say when interviewed, I try hard to make different styles and designs of my jewelry... Every piece is made with the meanings from my traditional ways, my father was a silversmith.
He taught me to continue this trade. It was my father's dream that I learn to silversmith, so that I continue his belief. As the Navajo say, Walk in beauty! I thank You and look forward to sharing a good experience!
"AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY I" - Gregory Schaaf - pages - 291-292. "AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY III: A-L" - Gregory Schaaf - pages 264-265.
"HALLMARKS OF THE SOUTHWEST"- Barton Wright - page - 156. "THE LITTLE BOOK OF SOUTHWESTERN SILVER" - Billie Hougart - page 317. The item "Narrow TOMMY SINGER BELT BUCKLE Sterling Silver STORY TELLER SCENE NAVAJO Thomas" is in sale since Thursday, May 7, 2020. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Ethnic, Regional & Tribal\Native American\Other Native American Jewelry"." and is located in Tucson, Arizona.
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