I-1-18 Hopi overlay buckle.

The Hopi speak a unique branch of the Uto-Aztecan linguistic family meriting its own name of “Hopi”. They are the only Puebloan Indians in Arizona inhabiting (since prehistoric times), a small number of villages both below and on picturesque mesa top pueblos clustered in the northeastern part of that state. The Hopi first became famous for their Kachina dolls, pottery and basketry, all ancient traditional items made for their own use. The Hopi also started making silver jewelry not long after the Navajo but shared so many qualities with Navajo work that it is seldom possible to distinguish it from Navajo work. By the 1940's, however, the Hopi began to develop distinctive silver work lending itself to Hopi textile, pottery and basketry designs. This is called Hopi silver overlay work because two sheets of silver are involved, one with the design cut out and being soldered on to the lower sheet which served as the background. This very simple, aesthetic buckle fits a narrow belt size (about 7/8 inch) dating it from the mid 1950's into the early 1960's. There is a signature stamp “ov” on the back but unfortunately I have not been able to identify the maker.

The buckle measures 2 1/2 inches long by 1 inch wide. $395.00