Solid Sterling Silver Trophy-Style Belt Buckle
Scotty Philip has been called the Buffalo King for his role in saving the American Bison from extinction. Although he wasn't the only one to make the effort, his was the most successful. His herd has grown into the great buffalo herds that currently populate the grasslands of Custer State Park and Yellowstone National Park. His "instinct and sacrifice," along with his vision, saved this iconic species of the American Great Plains.
A cattleman might seem an unlikely conservationist hero, but who better than a man who is familiar with all aspects of the story? We are seeing, for many reasons, increasing numbers of species facing uncertain futures and potential or actual extinction. When the situation with the buffalo was critical, the right man at the right time did the right thing, and it has made all the difference. We need more stewards like Scotty Philip, now more than ever.
Neil designed and made this engraved, western trophy-style buckle in a limited edition of 74 to honor Scotty Philip for his role in saving the buffalo.
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.