Sterling Silver & Mokume-gane 1-Piece Belt Buckle w/Hand Engraving & 24K Line-Inlay
This one-of-a-kind, fun and unique belt buckle is hand-crafted in solid sterling silver and mokume-gane. 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 and shibuichi.
Note: The angled photo captures more of the reddish-brown hue of the shibuichi than we were able to capture in the straight-on shot.
Neil hand-crafted this buckle some years ago and eventually got around to adding the hand-engraving and the quail. The shape makes it look like a standard belt buckle, but instead of a tongue it has a prong on the back. The front is mokume-gane with a small, silver quail - only 5/8" (16mm) tall. It has hand-engraving and 24K gold line-inlay on the top and bottom edges, as well as a hand engraved running leaf border on the front (left) edge. The angular lines give it a more modern look than many of Neil's other buckles. The Simple Quail buckle has a 1" (25mm) opening and makes a tasteful and discreet dress belt on a black straight or tapered belt strap.
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.