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The buckle is a Phoenix rising from the ashes. It may be from the related to Mythology. It it may just be ornamental buckle. If you scroll down the page to the Phoenix, you will see some information about the symbol: http://www.crossroad.to/Books/symbols1.html Joan
I really do not see skulls in the image provided. I see the images of a very ornate design to represent the feathers in the wings and the fire rising up from under the talons. I think this is a very nice piece. Egyptians called the Phoenix a bennu, known from the Book of the Dead(which could be why you see the images of skulls).The image when turned upside down may represent the sun god Ra. Joan
When turned upside down I see the mask of Ra the sun god. Everyone sees something different, but I am sorry you did not find my information as helpful as I hoped it would be. Joan