When I first acquired this shiny Catholic rosary, I was unfamiliar with the “Grenci” hallmark. I found a phone number and learned, through his son, that Mr. Grenci (Anthony F. “Tony” Grenci, Sr.), who lived in Butler, PA, manufactured rosaries through the 1960s.
In preparation for writing this copy, I did another search and found an online obituary from 2011 that included the following information: “In the early 1950s, he decided to go strictly wholesale and established yet another business that he called the A.F. Grenci Co. He converted to religious goods, whereby he and his wife made their own rosaries. In the late 1960s, he retooled the A.F. Grenci Co. to include the sale of bridal supplies.”
So here you have it... a scarce rosary made by Tony and Rita Grenci as a family-owned business. The crucifix is nicely cast and its bold styling has a funky sixties feel to it. Hallmarked “Grenci Sterling” on the verso, it features a raised luster-cut cuff, a deeply ribbed background, and a shiny nimbus behind Christ’s head. The heavy-weight molded corpus glows against the shaded background for added dramatic effect. A Miraculous Medal with soft patina adorns the center and is marked “Sterling.”
The beads and chain on this rosary are silver-tone metal, not sterling silver. The flashy ave beads are swirled, corrugated and separated with o-rings for ease of prayer. The paters are simple round beads. All are sturdy and in excellent vintage condition with no signs of wear.
This vintage devotional has a masculine feel to it, but is eminently suited for a woman as well. Let’s put Tony and Rita’s handiwork to good use and get this rosary back into circulation and active prayer. Comes boxed and ready for gift-giving.
Weight – 26 grams
Length – 22-3/4 inches total; 7 inch drop
Beads – 4.8 x 6.6 mm oblong; round paters 5-1/2 mm
Crucifix – 2 x 1-1/16 inches
Medal – 3/4 x 1/2 inches
Suitable for wearing
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