Karl's / Don Ellis "Palomino" Buckle and Belt


A beautiful and striking buckle in sterling and three-color 14K gold. Hand engraved by Don Ellis and mounted with a gold horse. The top edge of the buckle is mounted with gold flowers. Double marked with the “Karl's / Seattle / Sterling /14K” mark. 2 1/4" x 3 1/2". The belt is an impressive diamond supreme style with alternating gold and silver diamonds. 1 1/2" wide; 42" from the clip point to end of the leather, appears to fit approximately a 34" to 36" waist. 

Provenance: Includes letter from Dick Ellis, son of Don.

Lot 83, Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - January 20, 2017, Mesa, AZ.
Sold $8,850

Karl’s of Seattle

Karl’s of Seattle was owned by Karl L. Raab who employed one of the premier silversmiths on the west coast, Don Ellis (1913-1969), to manufacture mountings for their coveted line of parade saddles. Don grew up in Seattle where he was a self-taught silversmith and engraver. During his younger years as a rodeo rider, Don created his first rodeo trophy buckle for Ellensburg, Washington rodeo events. By the 1940s he was making silver saddles as well as gold and silver buckles. In the early 1950s Don created the lavish gold and silver presentation buckles for the Rodeo Cowboy Association and completed his crowning achievement, the Wes Williams’ saddle that is on display at the Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City. Don is often referred to as the “Ed Bohlin of the Pacific Northwest” when, in fact, his exquisite style of engraving met or exceeded the best that the renowned Hollywood Saddle Maker to the Stars ever had to offer.

Lot 7: Karl’s, Washington State, Parade Saddle with Don Ellis Silver Mountings.

Brian Lebel's Old West Auction - June 11, 2016
Sold $4,130