2.9" X 1.75". Will accommodate a belt of up to. 60.6 grams = 1.95 Troy ounces. This wonderful Belt Buckle was made by Juan Calavaza. The date of his birth seems uncertain but he became active making jewelry in the early 1930's and picked up casting techniques by rubbing elbows with Dan Simplicio and others who learned from Horace Iule and Juan Dideos (Dan Simplicio's uncle).Juan died in 1970 or 1971 and of course taught his wife, the famous Effie Calavaza b. 1928 who started producing jewelry in the 1950's and is perhaps the most famous living Zuni Artist. At 92, she is also one of the oldest active Zuni artists. Their work is featured in many high end galleries and collections.
It can also be found in all the major Native Jewelry catalogs and reference books. A few are listed below. This one is stamped with his hallmark "JC" on the reverse of the Buckle.His early work (and most pre-1970 Native jewelry) is not signed. It has a sublime leaf design. It is Not marked Sterling Silver but is guaranteed to be Sterling Silver. I have found no defects in the Buckle. It is very good condition for being a half a century old. The 9 Turquoise and bezels are fine. Take the time to enlarge the pictures to see the wonderful Turquoise, Bezels, Leaves, Water Drops, and Deep Chisel Work... I believe you will be pleased! We can try to date this knowing that this was made by Juan Calavaza before he died in 1970 or 1971, but not when it was specifically made by him.
Juan and Effie most often made jewelry that featured snakes wrapped around Turquoise and Coral cabochons. It would be very rare to find a snake depicted in any art. The Zuni, like the Hopi, have a tradition of "dry farming" corn, squash, and beans. Ndividually crafted from Sterling Silver by Juan Calavaza. It is quite heavy for its size.
Over the years, a number of people have tried to copy their designs and Juan and Effie. Effie has beat them in the courts. This is hand-made by Juan Calavaza and is the real deal!This amazing Belt Buckle is full of character and may be recognized by many people. I suspect most people will guess that it was made by Dan. Effie because Juan Calavaza's jewelry is fairly rare, and Effies work is not. People who know will compliment you and your taste in Zuni Jewelry. Recommended Reference Books - This artist is referenced if there is a page # shown below.
"AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY I" - Gregory Schaaf - page 102. "AMERICAN INDIAN JEWELRY II: A-L" - Gregory Schaaf- pages 127. "HALLMARKS OF THE SOUTHWEST"- Barton Wright - page 42-43.
"THE LITTLE BOOK OF SOUTHWESTERN SILVER" - Billie Hougart - page 79. "ZUNI JEWELRY" - Theda and Michael Bassman - page 37. "ZUNI THE ART AND THE PEOPLE VOLUMES 1-3"- Barbara & Ed Bell- Volume 2-page 22. The picture in the multiple shots is of Effie in 1976 at the age of 48 from this publication.
Inventory reference Buckle Juan 440A. The item "Signed JUAN CALAVAZA Zuni BELT BUCKLE 9 TURQUOISE & LEAVES Sterling Silver" is in sale since Monday, May 4, 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, Panama, Trinidad and tobago, Guatemala, Honduras, Jamaica, 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, Ukraine, Cayman islands.