San Isabel Arabian
Solid Sterling Silver 4-Piece Buckle Set w/14K Gold "Arabian"
The lost-wax-cast San Isabel buckle set is named for the San Isabel National Forest in Colorado. This version of the buckle set has the head of an Arabian horse on the buckle. Neil was inspired to engrave an Arabian before going to the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show in 2011.
The "Arabian" version of the San Isabel doesn't have a tongue, but has a prong on the back instead. The belt buckle set has a 1" (25mm) wide opening, and the back of the buckle of this set is also beautifully engraved.
The engaving of this set covers the whole surface in close, tight scrolls. All the parts are cast in solid sterling silver (and gold) from Neil's original, finely hand engraved masters. It is hand finished and hand signed by Neil. With it's rich, full-coverage engraving in the genuine tradition of a European-style engraved shotgun, this unique buckle set is a classic.
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.