The Tommy Singer Fancy "Tee-Pee & Peyote Bird" Belt Buckle. This Extra Large Belt Buckle was made by noted Navajo silversmith Tommy Singer. It is signed with a "Tc" hallmark on the back of the buckle. It is not marked "Sterling", but is guaranteed to be Sterling Silver and flash plated with 18K Gold. I've traded several of his rare Sterling/Gold buckles over the years and haven't seen one in a few years.It comes from my personal collection and I've owned this one for over a decade. It is what I would call an "early" piece based on the "T and Quarter Moon" Hallmark, and my guess is that he made it in about 1970. 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. Many of his earlier pieces were not signed at all...
This is a Like-New buckle! That actually happens a lot.
This situation is like a "Barn Find" to car collectors. Your research may reveal that this buckle is a bit rare now as it is Tommy Singer's early work, and even more rare due to the limited number of the 18K Gold flash plated jewelry that he produced. I have examined the components very carefully and found no condition issues with the anything... There is no missing Turquoise or Coral inlay, other any issues.
It is all stable and solid. No dents, noticeable scratches, etc. It was made early 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. Consider this an opportunity to own and have in your collection an old and early Tommy Singer Buckle.
Sterling Silver Overlay, 18K Gold flash plating, Coral & Turquoise Chip Inlay, Extra fancy Indian Village Landscape Stamping that looks like it was drawn, an American Indian Tee-Pee and Peyote Bird in Flight... And in original condition too! 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 early example of his work and in Like-New Condition too.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 "XL TOMMY SINGER NOS BELT BUCKLE Sterling Silver 18K Gold Turquoise NAVAJO Thomas" is in sale since Sunday, May 17, 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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