Museum Quality KENNETH BEGAY Sterling Silver and Turquoise Belt Buckle.
Regular price$ 6,999.98 USDSale
MUSEUM QUALITY COLLECTOR'S KENNETH R. BEGAY BELT BUCKLE.
Kenneth Begay was known as the "Father Of Modern Navajo Jewelry." This belt buckle, although created in the "traditional Navajo jewelry" fashion, is an awesome example of the museum quality jewelry Kenneth Begay created. Every turquoise (I believe this is sleeping beauty turquoise) and coral stone is perfectly cut and hand set by Mr. Begay. This belt buckle was created by him while he was teaching silversmithing at the Navajo Community College. The signature "Kenneth R" with "Begay" below that, and an arrow below the name "Begay" was the signature used only on those pieces he created during his tenure at the college. Mr. Begay never used his middle initial "R" except on jewelry made by him while teaching. The belt buckle was created prior to 1977, when Kenneth Begay died. Picture 3 shows two cracks in one of the turquoise stones. I was advised not to fix nor have filled these cracks in order to maintain the original state of the belt buckle. The cracks are not all the way through and, thus, will not fall out.
In the book if "HALLMARKS OF THE SOUTHWEST" by "Barton Wright," wherein Kenneth Begay's name is listed, the following was stated about this great artist:
"SILVERSMITH: Began as a blacksmith at Ft. Wingate, New Mexico. Learned silversmithing working with Ambrose Roanhorse. Specialized in flatware. Benchsmith for White Hogan during the 1950s. Instructor in silversmithing at Navajo Community College in Tsaile, Arizona. . . ."
Below is a brief description of Mr. Begay's from the Museum of Natural Science on Kenneth Begay:
"I see the designs on potsherds and on Navajo rugs. I dream about designs at night and then write them down and use them."
—Kenneth Begay, Navajo artist
Kenneth Begay (1913–1977) was called the "father of modern Navajo jewelry" for his clean, bold, modern designs. But he also exemplifies the long history and continuity of Navajo jewelry-making: Begay studied under Fred Peshlakai, who had been taught by his father, Slender Maker of Silver, who was trained by Atsidi Chon, one of the earliest Navajo silversmiths. Begay in turn taught many others including his son, Harvey, now a renowned jeweler.
Although deeply rooted in traditional jewelry-making techniques, Begay's work was so innovative that it was rejected from a 1949 exhibition of Native art as too radical. Although he used and taught the old techniques, Begay explained near the end of his life, "I like to create something new and still use the old Navajo design style."
Harmony and Balance
Kenneth Begay created clean, elegant designs based on streamlined shapes that were repeated to form balanced and harmonious patterns, a style that has been compared to Navajo weaving."
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NOTE: Vintage jewelry is just that, vintage, and may contain mars and nicks due to its age. I try to explain the condition as I see it.