Posted 11 months ago
Frank Patania Sr. (1899-1964) Born Messina Italy. After coming to Santa Fe NM in 1924 to recover from tuberculosis Frank opened his first store on the Plaza diagonally across from the famous LaFonda hotel. He brought with him a gold and platinum smith sensibility and training which he applied to silver and turquoise.
The many Native American craftsmen who he employed learned these designs from him and went on to become recognized artists in their own right. Frank's popular designs were hard to improve on and most of them never really got away from them. His influence is easy to see in their work.
This silver cuff and necklace demonstrates his cross over to silver from gold and platinum designing which was not being done prior to his arrival in Santa Fe. His organic leaf designs were often copied by Native craftsmen. (Floral Spray cuff in the Smithsonian Renwick Gallery)