Robert and Bernice Leekya Zuni Turquoise and Silver Belt Buckle

C4569ZE-buckle.jpg

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Robert and Bernice Leekya, Zuni Pueblo Jewelers
  • Category: Belts and Buckles
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: Silver, turquoise
  • Size: 2-5/8” x 3-1/2”;
    Fits 1-⅝” width belt loop or narrower
  • Item # C4569ZE
  • Price: $2200

The Zuni Pueblo husband and wife team of Robert and Bernice Leekya began this buckle with a substantial shell-shaped piece of silver.  They scalloped the frame, deeply incising it on all four sides in a way that creates a natural ripple effect.  Like another piece by this team of artists Adobe Gallery has seen, the interior has been stamped in a way that small squares impressed upon the silver create the appearance of a fine, hand-crafted silver mesh.  

Artists' Signatures of Robert and Bernice Leekya, Zuni Pueblo JewelersOn both the top and bottom silver appliqué in the form of a leaf fanning outward from its stem has been shaped rectangularly and acts as a stylized bezel for the turquoise centerpieces.  Not only beautiful, but these pieces are also practical as they would prevent the buckle from catching on any loose clothing. 

Three striking and raw pieces of turquoise have been chosen to star in the center of this belt buckle.  Each stone has been carefully laid in a serrated bezel, allowing for a customized adherence of the turquoise.  Finally, four silver appliqué spheres have been added, two on either side of the central piece of turquoise.   

Robert (1934-) and Bernice Leekya are from Zuni Pueblo and have been making jewelry since 1953.  Robert is the son of famous fetish carver Leekya Deyuse and learned his craft from his father as a young man.  The Leekya’s are known for their bold turquoise nugget jewelry and channel inlay.


Condition: very good condition

Provenance: this Robert and Bernice Leekya Zuni Turquoise and Silver Belt Buckle is from an estate in eastern Washington.

Recommended Reading: Navajo and Pueblo Silversmiths by John Adair

TAGS: Zuni PuebloTeddy WeahkeeJohn AdairHawikuhSouthwest Indian JewelryLeekya DeyuseRobert and Bernice Leekya, Zuni Pueblo Jewelers

Robert and Bernice Leekya, Zuni Pueblo Jewelers
  • Category: Belts and Buckles
  • Origin: Zuni Pueblo, SHE-WE-NA
  • Medium: Silver, turquoise
  • Size: 2-5/8” x 3-1/2”;
    Fits 1-⅝” width belt loop or narrower
  • Item # C4569ZE
  • Price: $2200

C4569ZE-buckle.jpgC4569ZE-large.jpg Click on image to view larger.