And she left a small collection of Indian Jewelry you might like!

Sallie was from Wheeling, West Virginia and was part of a steel mill family. She was a debutante and was raised with every advantage. She attended the University of Chicago, unusual for a woman in that day, and when she graduated, she moved to the Wide Ruins Trading Post in Arizona with her husband Bill Wagner.

This is a wonderful tale and, during this year, we will be telling many stories about Sallie and Bill in this newsletter. We also have the privilege of offering some of the many things that she collected during those years.

Sally is credited with being the person responsible for the development of vegetal dye weaving. But that is another story.

After leaving Wide Ruins, she and Bill moved to Santa Fe and then to Oregon where they built ranch houses and barns. Debutante or not, this was a hard working and determined woman! She decided that New Mexico really had her heart and returned to Santa Fe where she spent the rest of her life, continually collecting Indian and Southwest art.She and Bill had also traveled to Japan where they bought beautiful Japanese art. Bill ultimately decided his heart was in Oregon and their paths separated.

We are very proud to offer some of her collection to you!

There are not many concho belts on the market today that are the genuine Phase One pieces.


One of Sallie’s was given to the School of American Research in Santa Fe, the other one we have for sale. Made about 1900, this Phase One belt was fashioned out of silver that was hand rolled, hand stamped, filed and that had two triangles cut in the middle so that a piece of leather could be put through. There was no solder used in the making of the belt and the buckles were almost always smaller than the conchos.

Most of the stamps were hand made and there is no turquoise on these belts. The buckles for these belts were often changed. Sometimes they were lost in pawn, sometimes they were gambled away or just traded. The buckle on this belt was made sometime after 1938, maybe into the 1940’s. The way you know is that the stamp on the insides says “U.S. Navajo 40”. This was a stamp that was initiated by the Indian Crafts Board in 1938 as they were concerned about jewelry being made out of sheet silver and, at the time, that wasn’t considered authentic Indian work! The “40” in the stamp refers to the place where the buckle was made and in this case, it was at the Fort Wingate Indian School.


It’s a beautiful belt and, if you are interested in the real item, it is one you might want to consider.

Lippincott had a beautiful hand stamped bracelet from the 1940’s, Santo Domingo jewelry that she purchased at Indian Market, several classic turquoise and silver rings, old sand cast buckles and hair pieces, a concho belt from the 1950’s and even silver button covers.six-silver-button-covers-sallie-lippincott-wagner-collection-cjfcwbc17-01w

Sallie Lippincott Collection at Toh-Atin Gallery

It’s not big, it’s just really nice!

This year we will being writing regular stories about Sallie and the pieces she collected. We are also planning two shows with her Wide Ruins and Chimayo weaving collections. Both of these shows will be posted on our web site so you won’t have to visit Durango to see them, although we think you would have fun! Everyone has fun in Durango! We will keep you posted!