Vintage Concho BeltUnknown Artist
An extraordinary, classic, third-phase concho belt that may be antique – pre-1940 – but is certainly vintage.
This belt is really a gem, with exquisite stamp work, wonderful repousse designs, and gorgeous natural turquoise embellishments.
The buckle has curvy, repousse elements that are also stamped on the edges.
At the top, and the bottom of the buckle, the facing repoussed forms look like wings, with a rounded turquoise in between the two.
A trio of matching turquoise domes sit on either side of the openwork center.
The edges of the buckle are cut to conform to the designs: winged curves at top and bottom; zig-zags at the side, with matching stamp work.
The turquoise stones, throughout the belt, are a brilliant blue, with bits of matrix that resemble Morenci and Bisbee turquoise in some.
The stones are dazzling, against the darkened patina of the silver.
Ten conchos alternate with eleven “butterflies” which are repoussed and stamped to complement the conchos.
The vertical form of the butterflies is emphasized by the row of vertical, tapered, repousse elements at the top and bottom.
A horizontal oval decorates the center, bordered with delicate stamping, while the edges of the piece are also stamped, in semicircles, to match the scalloped silhouette.
Every butterfly also has a tiny, matching, turquoise in the center, that lines up with the same turquoise in the center of each concho.
The conchos are slightly oval, with a repoussed rosette in the center, edged with delicate stamp work. A bright blue turquoise sits at the very top.
This center rosette is framed by a border of unusual and dense stamping that resembles embroidery and finished with a scalloped edge decorated with dainty stamping.
Every part of the belt was separately fabricated by and, so there are faint differences among the various conchos and butterflies if you look really closely ( measure them).
Some are a bit larger or smaller, some of the stamping around the center rosette is more open than others, etc.
The turquoise stones vary a bit, also: some have flecks of matrix, others don’t; some are set higher than others.
That has absolutely no bearing on the quality of this belt.
It is an outstanding example of remarkable and patient workmanship, fine, natural turquoise, and elegant, harmonious design.
This is a remarkable example of a classic Navajo concho belt, and a piece to be treasured.
The leather may be changed for new, in the right size for you, or left as it is.
Enjoy the belt, and the old price, too.