This silver concho belt is a mystery. Inscribed on the back in dremel is the Social Security number of Reymundo Rodarte of New Mexico. Rodarte was born in 1909 and died in 1997. We find very little information about him, and it is most likely that the belt belonged to him, as while it was not common we have seen some owners inscribe (or have inscribed) their own social security number onto more valuable pieces of Native American jewelry. So we can presume that Rodarte was the owner, and of the maker we can only see the work of a skilled silversmith. The six larger conchos and seven "butterfly" spacers are all made of silver that has been hammered thin, hand chiseled, hand filed, and hand stamped. The turquoise is real, we can tell from the brown matrix in some of the pieces. One cabochon has a crack yet is still well seated and secure. The leather belt, which is a just under 1" brown leather strap, hand stitched, is a style popular in the 1960s and 70s, with two long leather ties at the end. The belt would have been worn low on the hips, a style made popular by Jim Morrison, either looped through wide belt jean loops or around a long Navajo shirt, which mean wore. As the piece is unsigned we can't say for sure it is Native American; we believe it is Navajo.
This belt has six conchos--measuring 2-1/4" by 2-1/8"--and seven butterfly spacers--just under 1" by just under 2". The conchos are all held onto the belt via copper backs, which have been bent tight so they don't move around easily on the belt. The silver was tarnished black, which I cleaned to a lovely patina, leaving oxidation in the silver that adds depth. There is no buckle due to the fringe ties. The pliant brown leather belt is 7/8" wide, and the belt measures just under 31" in length, not including the ties, and each side has ties of about 13" additional on either side. The belt ideally fits a waist or hips between 35-39" (give or take an inch) leaving sufficient fringe hanging. There is no silver hallmark, but it does not magnetize. In good vintage condition.
If you want an affordable look inspired by Native Americans and you have hips that look good in black leather pants, you too can drive boys and girls crazy.
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