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
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