Adirondack II Trout
Solid Sterling Silver 3-Piece Buckle Set w/Mokume-gane & Hand Engraving
This one-of-a-kind Adirondack II "Trout" 3-piece buckle set is a unique modification of Neil's popular Adirondack buckle. The buckle's top and bottom plates, as well as the decorative back plate, were re-worked with new designs and cast in solid sterling silver from Neil's original hand engraved masters using the lost wax technique. The keeper and tip are hand engraved, as is the leaf-work on the sides (tangs) of the buckle.
The belt buckle is assembled from 4 pieces of silver and 1 piece of mokume-gane with a trout on it. The two raised silver scroll-work sections are attached to the front of the silver buckle with tiny jewelry screws, as is the silver backplate. The mokume-gane is sandwiched between the body of the buckle and the backplate, while on the keeper and tip it is soldered onto the silver.
Mokume-gane (Japanese for "wood grained metals") is a type of Japanese married metal made from diffusion bonded laminates often used in decorating swords, in this case consisting of sterling silver, copper, shibuichi, and shakudo. It is usually worked from the back to produce valleys and ridges on the front, which are filed and sanded to reveal a unique design. A specially formulated chemical treatment leaves a rich patina, highlighting the character of the metal's design. The waves and movements of these particular pieces of mokume-gane inspired Neil to create this truly unique and appealing belt buckle set.
The Adirondack II "Trout" belt buckle has a 1" (25mm) wide opening and overall measurements (of the buckle) are 1 15/16" high, and 2 1/2" long.
About Gun-Style Engraving
In the 1800s the American West was settled by Europeans, who were also the first to wear silver buckle tip sets. These buckle sets came to be known as Ranger Sets, after the legendary Texas Rangers. At that time engraving was directly from, or inspired by, European traditions in design and technique. Engraving in silver and engraving on guns were diverging into distinctly different styles. This distinction, as well as the popularity of ranger sets, was accentuated when Hollywood defined the “cowboy look” in the 1920s and -30s. This Western, or Bright-Cut, engraving became the standard for buckle engraving and has been the de facto method and look… until now.
Neil’s buckle sets are engraved in the Gun-Style (single point) rather than the Western style (bright cut), and are finding popularity for their sophisticated look and attractive designs. His hand engraved original buckles are highly valued by afficionados. These traditional ranger buckle sets with old world gun-style engraving remind us that the New West is still firmly rooted in the Old West.
The essence of tradition in the arts can be seen in 2,000 years of continually evolving Acanthus decoration, from Greek columns, to English shotguns, and now to American belt buckles.