Navajo Tufa Cast Belt Buckle. "LS" signed - Artist unidentified.With Classic "Ketoh" Navajo Archers Wrist Guard Design. 2.8" X 2.27 ". Will accept a belt of up to 1.45. 43.4 grams = 1.4 Troy ounces. Navajo Tufa Cast Sterling Silver Belt Buckle. His Buckle was made by a talented Navajo artist using the Molton Sterling Silver Tufa Casting Technique to create a very beautiful Belt Buckle. It demonstrates the classical traditional skills in both design and jewelry construction.
It is Hallmarked "LS Sterling". This buckle looks to be lightly used and only has the type of surface scuffing associated with being worn by a careful owner over time. There are no dents, cracks, or noticeable scratches, etc. Take a close look with the magnifier on the picture program.
Since it shows little wear or tarnish, it might be newer or older... So, I'm GUESSING that it was made sometime between 1980 and 2000.It is a lot of work and not much profit for a jeweler to make buckles like this... Sorry, I wish I could be more specific. Other than tarnish, a 100 year old piece can look about the same as a 10 year old one... And there is no way to verify the age either.
Be well, Kevin in Tucson. How old would you say it is?
As you may already know Tufa Casting is a very laborious and even dangerous process of making silver jewelry that was developed late in the 19th century by the Navajo. It is similar to traditional sand casting but uses ancient compressed volcanic ash (Tufa) as the mold in which hot molten Silver is poured. Because of thermal shock it is typical that the Tufa mold can only be used once. After the piece is cooled, the "real work" of filing and polishing begins. Because of the factors mentioned, Navajo Tufa Cast Jewelry is relatively rare and becoming more so all the time.
The technique lends a charm to anything produced and is appreciated by knowledgeable collectors of Native Jewelry. In the 1959 publication "Indian Silverwork Of The Southwest, Illustrated" author Harry P Mera has provided us with the definitive guide to the origins, history, and techniques used by Native American jewelers. Later on, when, through experience, easily worked fine-grained stones were selected (those capable of retaining clean cut impressions) ornamental casting finally came into its own.
Materials of this sort, because of their friability, are apt to break down under the heat to which they are subjected so that, at best, a very limited number of castings could be made from and average mold, often, only one. After an object is cast, a great deal of work with files and other abrasives is required to obtain a satisfactory finish.
" Indeed, the "clean up and finishing of the crude Sterling Silver article after is it liberated from the Tufa mold is an enormous and messy task! The design of the Tufa Cast Silver work as seen in the buckle is what most collectors would generally call Classical Revival. This is a beautiful Belt Buckle that demonstrates the art of the Tufa Casting technique.I hope you are pleased with what you see.. As the Navajo say, "Walk in Beauty". I thank You and look forward to sharing a good experience! "AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY I" - Gregory Schaaf - Page. "AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY II: A-L" - Page. "HALLMARKS OF THE SOUTHWEST"- Barton Wright - Page. THE LITTLE BOOK OF SOUTHWESTERN SILVER - Billie Hougart - Page. "ZUNI JEWELRY" - Theda and Michael Bassman. "ZUNI THE ART AND THE PEOPLE VOLUMES 1-3" - Barbara & Ed Bell- Volume. "KNIFEWING AND RAINBOW MAN IN ZUNI JEWELRY". "INDIAN SILVERWORK OF THE SOUTHWEST, ILLUSTRATED VOLUME ONE" - Pages 22, 57,87, +. For reference only Buckle 17.
Large signed LS Navajo BELT BUCKLE TUFA SAND CAST Sterling Silver KETOH" is in sale since Friday, May 1, 2020. This item is in the category "Jewelry & Watches\Ethnic, Regional & Tribal\Native American\Other Native American Jewelry"." and is located in Tucson, Arizona.This item can be shipped to United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Denmark, Romania, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Czech republic, Finland, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Estonia, Australia, Greece, Portugal, Cyprus, Slovenia, Japan, China, Sweden, South Korea, Indonesia, Taiwan, South africa, Thailand, Belgium, France, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, Poland, Spain, Italy, Germany, Austria, Bahamas, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, Philippines, Singapore, Switzerland, Norway, Saudi arabia, United arab emirates, Qatar, Kuwait, Bahrain, Croatia, Malaysia, Chile, Colombia, Costa rica, Antigua and barbuda, Aruba, Belize, Dominica, Grenada, Saint kitts and nevis, Saint lucia, Montserrat, Turks and caicos islands, Barbados, Bangladesh, Bermuda, Brunei darussalam, Bolivia, Egypt, French guiana, Guernsey, Gibraltar, Guadeloupe, Iceland, Jersey, Jordan, Cambodia, Liechtenstein, Sri lanka, Luxembourg, Monaco, Macao, Martinique, Maldives, Nicaragua, Oman, Pakistan, Paraguay, Reunion, Uruguay, Russian federation, Cayman islands.