Caged Bird, book piece brooch (“American Costume Jewelry” by Carla Ginelly Brunialti & Roberto Brunialti). 1947. Marked “Sterling Pat.pend”. Gold-plated sterling silver with rhinestones. Frank Gargano vintage costume jewelry
Frank Gargano vintage costume jewelry (1940s)
The short history of Frank Gargano (Gargano Garman) jewelry began in Providence Rhode Island. According to the Brunialti catalog, freelance designer F.J. Gargano patented several brooches between 1946 and 1947. Made in series, collections of little brooches had a plot. For example, circus series which included a boy on an elephant, a bear cub on a bicycle, Carousel Merry Go Round, as well as Mexican motifs, comets and other figurals.
Handcrafting his wearable art pieces, the designer used 925 sterling silver, gold, metal alloys, art glass, rhinestones and crystals. Gargano marked his pieces “sterling” or “Garman sterling” and added “pat”, that meant all brooches had patents.
Unfortunately, we know almost nothing about Frank Gargano himself.
High quality craftsmanship jewelry of this designer is extremely rare and very valuable. For example, an approximate price for the caged bird brooch (the above picture) can reach $500. Accordingly, there is a risk of buying a fake.
Circus cycling bear gold tone rhinestone chatelaine brooch, patented by Frank Gargano in 1947
Frank Gargano vintage costume jewelry
Merry Go Round Circus brooch and earrings of rose gold tone, rhinestones
Monkey on a bicycle gold tone rhinestone figural brooch, from circus series made by Frank Gargano in the 1940s
Siesta Palm Moonlight gold tone rhinestone chatelaine brooch
A couple at the Mill (date at the mill), a rare brooch. 1947. Silver, gilding, crystals. Length – 6 cm, width – 5 cm
An enameled version of “Date at the mill” brooch. Sterling silver, multicolor handpainted enamel. 1940s
Bear on a circus bicycle figural pin. Sterling silver, rhinestones. 5.5 cm
Book-piece, 1947. Bird in a cage set of brooch and earrings. 925 Sterling silver, gold plated, rhinestones, vermeil. Brooch 7 cm, earrings 4 cm
Elephant with cornack. 1947. Designer Frank J. Gargano. Providence. Inspired by Verdura design. 5 cm. Gold-plated sterling brooch with black and white enamel, red and green rhinestones
Sailboat brooch. 1947. Gold-plated sterling silver, rhinestones. 6×4.5 cm. Marked Sterling