I have a beautiful buckle I purchased in 1980 in Denver. It has been in
the safe since. I would like to know more about it and what it might be
worth It appears unique as my searches have turned up nothing remotely
The buckle is heavy 14 gold flower with a center inlay of coral and shell.
Backing is silver. Zuni? It is about 3.5″ long and weighs 100 gms. The
back has two signatures, “Made by Erwin or E**iv Haslic or Haskic” I don’t
think it is Haskell. “Carved by Bessie Keedylu?. They were signed with a
vibra-tool. The back also has a 14K gold quality mark. The shell/coral
inlay is surrounded with 8 solitary 1/2 inch turquoise stones. Do you
think you could tell me something about this piece. I would be glad to
send you photos.
It looks like the first line is signed “Made by Ervin Hoskie”.
Ervin Hoskie was a Navajo silversmith who usually signed with an engraver in block letters
MADE BY ERVIN HOSKIE
He was known for his silver, gold and cobblestone work. I believe he passed away about 10 years ago.
As far as Bessie’s signature line, I can’t quite get a fix on that signature. Your guess is about as good as I could do. I definitely see the capital K but after that, I’m not sure. And I’m not sure what “Carved by” refers to. I’ve never seen that before in relation to a piece like this because there doesn’t appear to be any carving. There is silver and gold work, stone work and inlay (the center). Carving usually refers to something like Zuni Fetishes. This buffalo was carved by Zuni artist Andres Lementino
As far as the inlay itself, I am not very knowledgeable about Hopi kachinas but the figure in the center of the buckle appears to be a native dancer of some sort holding a cross in each hand which I have never seen.
Perhaps someone else who reads this blog can give you some more ideas, but at least I got you started along the lines of Ervin Hoskie. Let me know if you find out anything else.
Here is an inlay bolo tie with a Zuni Crown Dancer (per Russ Nobbs)