Help ID'ing concho belt

Hi, I inherited this concho belt and am not interested in selling it, just would like to find out who the maker might be. No one in the family knows anything about it. It looks like the initials may be W.S. and that it says Taos, NM 86 . Those initials or anything similar to them don’t match anyone in our family. I wonder if a previous owner scratched those there or if those might be the maker’s? I don’t know if you can see any stamped initials or other ID on it.

To make it easier to read, the contrast was increased on the close up photo of the back of the buckle. Another photo I’ve included shows what it actually looks like.

Thanks so much for taking a look at this.

buckle and concho 1underside of buckleconchosbelt and loops back of conchosunderside of buckle and concho and belttip of belt

Yes, the hosting company did some cleanup and lost some images. If you could please upload again. thank you.

Thanks for replying and letting me know to try to upload the images again! Here goes.

underside of bucklebuckle and concho 1underside of buckle and concho and beltbelt and loops back of conchos
tip of belt

Seems the image files were too large so I have resized them and hope they will show up now! I increased the contrast in the first image of the back of the belt buckle so the writing could be seen better. The rest of the photos are unaltered. Thank you so much for taking a look at them!

I first looked up the hallmark WS and came across two names, Wilbert Secatero and Willie Shaw. It appears both names are associated with the same stamped hallmark. Looked through the belts and didn’t find this exact belt but some similar styles. However, your hallmark is very different, it is scratched into the back.

So we need to come to some reason why this piece is scratched. Maybe Wilbert Secatero made a selling trip to Taos, and when he got ready to sell the belt the buyer notice he didn’t hallmark the piece. So Wilbert scratched the belt, and then continue to mark the year he made/sold it along with where he sold it, you never know.

Another explanation would be the artist was from Taos and made it in 1986 and has the initials W.S. The belt is Navajo style, Taos is pueblo country, but maybe a Navajo artist is living there making jewelry.

I imagine this belt is going to remain a mystery, but thanks for sharing.

Thank you so much for your research and explanation.

I am wondering about the belt loops on the back of the conchos. Is it very common that they are brass and not copper? At least they look more like brass color, though there appears to be a bit of green oxidation or sort of gummy looking green on them.

We usually think of these strips being copper, but maybe the artist had some brass they wanted to get rid of. Navajo artist Orville Tsinnie use to make a whole set from brass when silver prices skyrocketed in the early 1980s.

Thank you for your reply, and all you do to help everyone here answering their questions. That is interesting information.

1 Like