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This unique, stunning buckle is the second custom buckle made for Morad and the Persian Wildlife Foundation. They are an organization of conservationists, hunters, and photo safari enthusiasts, who promote preservation of wildlife and habitat in Persia. This buckle depicts the endangered, Asian cheetah and a "Simurgh" - a protective and benevolent, mythical bird preceding the mythical Phoenix. The simurgh's wings and tail-feathers wrap around the cheetah displaying its protective nature.
The belt buckle is made in two pieces with the main buckle body being solid sterling silver and the cheetah in 24K gold inlay over sterling silver. The cheetah is attached with a pin that goes through the buckle and is riveted on the back-side, and it is also tucked in behind the simurgh's tail-feathers. The simurgh's beak is 24K gold inlay adding another dimension to the bird.
As Neil really wanted to have the cheetah's spots be black, he went through the labor-intensive process of inlaying the gold on the cheetah into the silver body, leaving the spots recessed in silver. This way the silver spots would oxidize and turn black. Since the buckle would be molded for casting cost-effective silver reproductions with the cheetah in yellow bronze for Morad's lucky friends, Neil also sculpted the cheetah in bas-releif to allow the recessed areas to oxidize in the yellow bronze reproductions.
This design was modified and molded for casting lapel pins and cuff-links in sterling silver with 14K gold or yellow bronze.
Update September 2014: The Persian Wildlife II design was recently also made into key-chains in solid sterling silver w/yellow bronze cheetahs.
Custom Hand Engraved Trophy-Style Belt Buckle, Handcrafted, "Persian Wildlife II" item # "sengr.persianwildII1.oct10"
Solid Sterling Silver w/24K Gold Inlay
Approximate Overall Dimensions 2¾" x 2"
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