AUD $780.00

Uzbek, Silver and Leather Belt.

An old leather belt with a "nielloed" silver buckle and decorative silver cross units spaced along its length.

The buckle has a simple hook and loop locking action, and is flanked with two seperate silver panels that allow flexibility.

The whole belt is constructed to be adjusted but not as we would with a buckle and holes.

Turned over there is a leather thong threaded through the back of all the silver segments, this allows the wearer to adjust it.

AlloThis flexibility means it can be worn over many winter layers, as needed. (This leather thong is still present but needs to be replaced, if you're planning to wear it. Easily done, at the moment it has been rejoined with an inappropriate piece of white cotton string.)

It's yet another very clever design solution with the serpentine thong holding the whole belt and all its components together by threading through every unit! (we would hammer decorative studs on, here they are integral to the belts overall function.)

The silver has a fairly deep glowing patina where the design was shiny and a very deep dark grey where the silver has been blackened. You might carefully use a dry silver polishing cloth to bring up the contrast but in doing so you would be removing its obvious age. There is one fine about 3 mm scratch on one of the side panels and a few of the "cross" studs are a little confused in their "nielloing" which would become obvious if polished!

"Nielloing" describes the blackening of sections of the silver to give a contrast, this can be achieved by masking and staining the design onto the silver (as appears to be the case with this piece) or by carving out the design and filling this reservoir with a black compound.(this technique is found where small pieces have been knocked out over time leaving empty channels, ironically these prove the authenticity of the item!)

The oxidation on the back of one of the buckle parts and the corresponding confusion in the nielloed design on the front, seems to indicate a possible old repair. But to the Collector or Connoisseur these marks and signs of wear just add to its history and character.

I've always thought this belt to be Uzbek, but  if I step back a little, it may just as easily be Persian, Afghan or even Pakistani.

Age: 19th/Early 20th Century.

Size: L 107 cm overall x W 54 mm (the total 4 piece buckle measures 365 mm.)

Weight: 357 grams