Silver Concho Belt with Gem Grade Turquoise by Frank Patania Sr.

C4273-belt.jpg

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Frank Patania, Sr., Sante Fe Jeweler
  • Category: Belts and Buckles
  • Origin: Anglo-Euro (non-Native) American
  • Medium: Silver, turquoise, leather
  • Size:
    33”- 39” length;
    conchos: 1-⅞” x 2-¼”;
    Buckle: 2-⅛” x 2-½”
  • Item # C4273
  • Price: $3,750.00

Beautiful gem grade turquoise cabochons are set in an elegant flower pattern on eleven silver conchos in this southwest concho belt by Frank Patani, Senior. 

This belt exemplifies Patania’s talent and skill, as well as how he blended the traditions of Native American design into his work. Each concho has seven perfectly shaped turquoise cabochons interspersed with small drops of silver set in a floral pattern. The flower design is set in a textured frame which is surrounded by a border of highly polished silver. 

During the twentieth century, numerous influences affected the look and style of Native American jewelry. Of these influences, the work of Frank Patania, Sr. and the silversmiths at his Thunderbird Shops in Santa Fe, New Mexico and Tucson, Arizona is notable. Unlike the more regional designs of the Fred Harvey Company, Patania’s work appealed to travelers who wanted pieces that would be fashionable in cities nationwide as well as locally. His designs had a more European appearance, incorporating Art Deco and Art Nouveau motifs with classic, perfectly proportioned lines.

As a young man, Frank Patania trained as a goldsmith in Sicily. After his family moved to New York, he continued working as a jewelry maker. Like many Easterners at the beginning of the century, Patania moved west to recover from tuberculosis. He fell in love with the New Mexican landscape and settled in Santa Fe where, in 1927, he opened the Thunderbird Shop. Looking for a warmer winter home, he opened an additional shop in Tucson in the 1930s. He hired jewelers to work in his studios, many of whom went on to become well known in their own right, such as Julian Lovato of Kewa Pueblo (formerly known as Santo Domingo Pueblo). 

Frank Patania Sr. (1899-1964) This belt is signed with Frank Patania’s hallmark and the Thunderbird Shop symbol. This belt is signed with Frank Patania, Sr.’s hallmark and the Thunderbird Shop symbol. 


Condition: The Silver Concho Belt with Gem Grade Turquoise by Frank Patania Sr. is in excellent condition. The gem grade stones are all secure and the silver has acquired a fine patina that comes only with age. 

Provenance: From a Southwest Indian Jewelry collector in the Midwest

Recommended Reading: Southwest Silver Jewelry by Paula Baxter

Relative Links: Southwest Indian Jewelry, Frank Patania, Sr., BeltsFred Harvey CompanySanta FeKewa PuebloJulian Lovato

Close up view of 2 conchas including the buckle.

Frank Patania, Sr., Sante Fe Jeweler
  • Category: Belts and Buckles
  • Origin: Anglo-Euro (non-Native) American
  • Medium: Silver, turquoise, leather
  • Size:
    33”- 39” length;
    conchos: 1-⅞” x 2-¼”;
    Buckle: 2-⅛” x 2-½”
  • Item # C4273
  • Price: $3,750.00

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