A visit to South Texas is never quite complete without seeing a Nilgai Antelope. The King Ranch first acquired nilgai brood stock principally from the San Diego Zoological Garden in the late 1920s. Today, there are over 18,000 Nilgai on King Ranch’s Norias division. Nilgai are a popular and challenging pursuit for any hunter or wildlife enthusiast due to their elusive qualities.
This collection was hand sculpted and cast by Allen T. Hibler, who has spent countless hours observing Nilgai in the wild. You will be amazed at how much detail is present on such a small sculpture. These jewelry pieces are one of the best ways to commemorate your experience with the Nilgai Antelope here in the South Texas area.
The original idea behind Nilgai themed jewelry stemmed from the desire to commemorate the rich experience that is the Nilgai hunt. Wearing a piece of Nilgai jewelry is a constant reminder of the enjoyment and thrill one experiences in pursuit of these beautiful and elusive creatures. One good thing about the jewelry is you can own a memento from your hunt even if you’re unsuccessful in harvesting the animal. Whether one is successful in harvesting Nilgai or not he or she will usually still walk away with a feeling of success that comes from participating in an authentic hunting adventure.
Even if you are not hunting Nilgai antelope but simply just observing them in the South Texas landscape the jewelry is still a great way to remember your special encounter. Anybody that has had experience with Nilgai knows that they are very elusive and extremely difficult to harvest. This is where the inspiration for the name “Blue Bull Blues” comes from. This Nilgai skull belonged to that most elusive trophy bull that gave you the blues all those times he gave you the slip. This one lived out its life in the wild never having been bested by a hunter.
The process in creating the jewelry starts with the original sculpture being meticulously hand sculpted, in this case, out of wax. Next, the original sculpture is molded and then additional wax copies are produced from this mold. These wax copies are then encased in ceramic. Following that the wax copy is melted out of the ceramic leaving a hollow void in the shape of the original sculpture. After this, the then molten sterling silver is poured into the ceramic shell. The shell is then broken up and removed leaving behind a perfect silver copy of the original sculpture. The finish work is the final step this includes removing any seams and polishing. This is the lost wax method applied to jewelry. The foundry process involved in making these unique pieces is very intensive and specialized.
This Nilgai jewelry is as unique to the King Ranch as the Nilgai Antelope itself. In the same way no one offers a Nilgai hunting experience like the King Ranch and there is no where else one can find Nilgai inspired jewelry.