I can’t find the artist “Bennett” anywhere – who made my bolo tie?

 

Hi Paula,

I have looked everywhere on line and in books and I can’t find any information on at artist, perhaps Bennett Pat or Pat Bennett whose name is on the back of my bolo tie. Can you help?

Ron

Well without a photo Ron, I’m guessing what you are seeing is something like this

BENNET PAT. PEND.

OR

BENNETT PAT. PEND. C-31

stamped on the locking slide on the back of your bolo…yes?

BENNETT PAT. PEND.

If so, that refers to a person who designed and manufactured the first locking bolo slide clip about the mid 1950s and the slides carried this stamp

BENNETT PAT. PEND. C-31

Although the above indicates that a patent had been applied for, there is no patent registered according to anything I  have read.

In the mid 1960s the C-31 disappeared and the stamp was simply

BENNET PAT. PEND.

It is my opinion and experience that soon thereafter, others began copying the clasp so the copy-cats didn’t add the BENNETT name on it. We refer to unmarked clasps as “Bennett-style” clasps.  I’ve seen unmarked locking clasps on bolos made from the 1960s through til today.

An unmarked Bennett-style locking clasp

The marking on your bolo slide might be a partial stamp that made you think it said “BENNETT PAT”.

You should look carefully all over the back of the bolo itself (not the slide) for any kind of marks – often these are quite light as they are sometimes done with an engraver. That information plus a photo of the front of the bolo would be helpful in determining the origin, and perhaps the artist who made your bolo.

Best of luck, Paula

Can you Help me With OLD Bolo Hallmarks?

Hi Paula
I came by your information by chance and thought I would see if you could help me with some Native American jewelry Hallmarks on bolos.  First is a horse shoe type with an arrow over rays or other arrows. The other is a dancer with a simple hand engraved T I H. Both are quite old, somewhere between the 1930’s and perhaps early 1950’s.
Thank you,
Connie
IMG_20130430_104527_652 IMG_20130430_104610_576 IMG_20130430_104623_061 IMG_20130430_104646_170IMG_20130430_104623_061 closeup
Hi Connie,
Both your Naja and Knifewing bolos seem to be quite old, with hand made bolo slides – before the popular Bennett bolo slide appeared on the scene.
First the Naja with an arrow and rays. Read more about the Naja here.
I don’t recognize the hallmark and do not see it in any of my hallmark reference books.
Next the Knifewing with TIH. Read more about Knifewing here.
I don’t recognize the hallmark and do not see it in any of my hallmark reference books.
I looked it up as you suggested with TIH and also as a cross followed by IH which is what it seems to me. I came up empty.
Perhaps a reader of this blog might recognize these old marks.
Paula

The Origin of the Bolo Tie

Origin of the Bolo Tie

Silversmith Victor Cedarstaff of Wickenburg, Arizona, claims to have invented the bolo tie in 1948.

According to an article in Sunset magazine:

Victor Cedarstaff was riding his horse one day when his hat blew off. Wary of losing the silver-trimmed hatband, he slipped it around his neck. His companion joked, “That’s a nice-looking tie you’re wearing, Vic.” An idea incubated, and Cedarstaff soon fashioned the first bola tie (the name is derived from boleadora, an Argentine lariat).

184932_1000

Boleadoras or bolas (from Spanish bola, “ball”) are throwing weapons made of weights attached to the end of cords.

However, it is also said that the bolo tie is a North American pioneer creation that dates back to between 1866 and 1886. There is a bolo tie on display at a trading post in Zuni Pueblo, New Mexico, said to date back that far.

BOL23-turq-lewis-1

A recent exhibit at The Heard Museum in Phoenix, Arizona entitled Native American Bolo Ties: Vintage and Contemporary generated renewed interest in bolos.

This is from the Heard Museum:

The distinctive tie originated in the Southwest, and its popularity quickly spread throughout the West and in many other parts of the country. The necktie has been made even more distinguished by contemporary American Indian artists in Arizona, who make bolo ties that are exquisite expressions of individuality and ingenuity.

BBN15-bolo-roadrunner-2

Bolo ties, representing the casual nature and somewhat rugged milieu of the West, emerged as a form of men’s neckwear in the 1940s. They directly countered business suits as well as the formality suits represented, and instead marked a different style and a different way of life. In particular, American Indian jewelers and silversmiths brought individuality and creativity to this art form, offering a broad range of unique and artistic options.

BOL32-inlay-yazzie-1

Western wear, including the bolo tie, was popularized through 1950s television shows and movies. Some TV and movie personalities who brought scarf slides and bolo ties into the everyday vernacular include the Cisco Kid, Hopalong Cassidy and Roy Rogers. Bolo ties have been created by American Indian jewelers since the late 1940s and they continue to create them today.

BOL28-turq-cluster-wilson-1

The bolo tie’s road to acquiring the status of Arizona’s official neckwear took place over several years. KOOL Channel 10’s anchor Bill Close and five other bolo tie enthusiasts met in 1966 at the Westward Ho Hotel in downtown Phoenix. From the beginning, their intent was to make the bolo tie a state emblem. Perhaps to help the cause, Arizona Highways Magazine devoted several pages of its October 1966 issue to Southwestern jewelry, including bolo ties. Help arrived when Governor Jack Williams proclaimed the first week of March 1969 as “Bolo Tie Week.” After several unsuccessful attempts, a bill making the bolo tie the official state neckwear was finally passed on April 22, 1971. The bolo tie is also the official neckwear of New Mexico and Texas, although Arizona was the first state to designate it as such.

S420-onyx-buckle-bolo-yazzie-1

The Snake Symbol in Native American Culture

The snake in some Native American cultures represents speed and swiftness, the same properties as lightning or the lightning arrow and they often have a similar visual form. The snake does not symbolize anything negative or treacherous. Rather, the snake represents abundant rainfall, fertility and healing. Snake symbols are rarely seen in Navajo jewelry and art but are often used by Zuni.

We here in northern Colorado live with snakes on a seasonal basis – they are part of the landscape and ecosystem. Since our climate is semi-arid, we welcome the abundant rainfall the snake might bring.

The White Buffalo Collection – Vintage but Unused Bolo Ties

So far I’ve just skimmed the surface of this wonderful collection with the listing of the rugs previously noted and now some awesome vintage but unused bolo ties.

 

White Buffalo Navajo Pawn Collection White Buffalo Collection

We recently purchased a large collection of vintage but unused Native American artifacts including jewelry, rugs and pottery. It was part of the estate of a Navajo woman who was a missionary that worked with Native Americans in Four Corners – the area of the American southwest where four states meet- New Mexico, Arizona, Utah and Colorado. As a single parent, she raised 5 daughters and a son while also providing food, shelter, and clothing to less fortunate people that needed assistance. Often she was thanked for her help by gifts of Native American items.

Most of the items in this collection are from the 1970s to the 1990s. We offer these items to you with great respect and with the information we received from the family plus our research.

We named the collection after one of the pieces in the group, a hand carved Navajo fetish necklace honoring the Sacred White Buffalo.

Bolo Tie – What is this pendant on a string?

Paula,

I inherited some jewelry and there is a pendant on a leather string. I have no idea what it is and how it is worn. Can you help me so I can know how to describe it to sell on eBay?

Chrissy

Hi Chrissy,

The photo you sent wasn’t in sharp enough focus for me to post but I was able to see you had a very nice vintage bolo tie. I’ll use one from our pawn shop to illustrate my description.  By the way, I encourage you to take the time to take sharp, in-focus photos of your bolo as it is likely to bring a nice price if people can see the details, stones, and workmanship.

A bolo tie, also called a “shoestring necklace” or simply a bola, can be thought of as a Western necktie. A bolo tie can range from an inexpensive “string tie”  to an elaborate sterling silver and leather affair. Maybe your younger brother had one of those string ties that he wore with his cowboy hat and cap guns ??!!

A bolo has three parts.

Sterling Silver, Turquoise and Coral Navajo Bolo Tie showing the three parts: Lariat, Tips and Slide

The cord that goes around the neck is called the lariat. It is traditionally braided from leather, and most commonly black leather. The lariat can also be made from woven cord, thus the term “string tie”.

The ends of the lariat are finished off with tips. The tips can be made of sterling silver, copper or other metals. They can be machine made tips or hand made tips.

And finally we get to the Pièce de résistance  which means the focal point, the best part or feature, the artistic creation for which the other portions exist !  The slide.

The slide is a decorative feature that, as its name indicates, slides up and down on the lariat. The slide can be worn up at the neck in the same position as a necktie knot (formal) or down lower for a more casual effect.

Slides can vary as widely as the artist’s imagination and can utilize many materials. Here are some examples of Native American bolo tie slides.

A lovely Navajo bolo slide made from sterling silver, coral and turquoise with leaves, flowers, rope work and other design elements.

A unique western spur bolo slide made by Navajo artist TK Emerson from sterling silver and beautiful turquoise stones.

A Zuni inlay bolo slide by Simplicio. The horse head is made from mother of pearl and jet. Two turquoise nuggets add a color accent.


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