From a Tucson estate some years ago is this compelling and exceedingly substantial Shatka Bear-Step signed sterling silver belt buckle - the ingot-like construction features fully indicative of a skilled artisan making during the latter part of the 20th Century...a robust sculptural ornament by a well-listed Southwestern silversmith and absolute gem of the genre. The imagery - an attractive variant of this artist's iconic "bear step" branded Appaloosa spirit horse - is just fabulous. Conceptually the buckle comprises the best sort of American contemporary art while clearly retaining details of a classic regional tribal aesthetic, and exhibits great visual charisma. An inspired use of the natural surfaces of the ingot that forms the body of the buckle as a thoughtful backdrop for the applied Appaloosa is delightful, and the sculptural detail of the horse itself makes a bold visual statement. There is a hand stamped signing to the back, actually several signings. "BEAR-STEP" can be seen twice to the buckle back and again to each face of the sturdy pierced swivelling belt loop; there are further Bear-Step's known symbolic "bear step" and bearpaw markings, "IV" (with another associated stamps) below the naming, and "STERLING" stamped near the lower edge..."751" is engraved near this latter standard mark, and also to the upper right corner (see pics). Shatka Bear Step (1898-1980) operated a well-regarded silversmith atelier in Ute Pass Colorado, and then later in Arizona; his work was popular among period movie stars and entertainers, and the Appaloosa Horse Club (ApHC) ...an international breed registry which still awards copies of another Bear Step buckle and inducted him into their Hall Of Fame in 1988. This uncommon original example - product of an obviously skilled artist and artisan - was likely never worn (or at least not very much), though would assuredly make a stunning ornament on the waist of the winner if worn today. Weight is much better than good at about a whopping 205 grams on my portable digital scale...over 6 1/2 Troy ounces. Condition is quite fine with a superb look to the silver surfaces which are really, really nice. This either saw no purposeful use or was a special occasion proposition, as there is very little overt evidence of wearing. A look at the pics should give a good idea of appearance and condition...for those who know, this is a great vintage Southwestern silver belt buckle by a significant maker. Size of the buckle face is about 3 1/4 in. long; it is about 2 1/4 in. high. The loop will accomodate about a 1 1/2 in. belt. If you collect real vintage Southwestern tribal and regional silver jewelry and especially Arizona provenance buckle examples as this, or simply wish this single tangible link to Shatka Bear-Step to improve the ambiance of each day, this will have great meaning for you. Payment Terms PAYMENT WITHIN 10 DAYS OF AUCTION CLOSING. I ACCEPT PAYPAL AS PER EBAY RULES. Shipping Terms THIS IS LISTED AS U.S. ONLY. BUYER PAYS FOR SHIPPING. GENERALLY WILL SHIP US PRIORITY MAIL OR USPS FIRST CLASS WITH DELIVERY CONFIRMATION, BUT CAN NEGOTIATE; BOOKS GO MEDIA RATE. inkfrog terapeak
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