Tart Optical were an American firm started by Julius Tart in NY
in the mid-1940s. They were relatively successful but didn't reach
the heights of other US giant brands like Bausch & Lomb, Shuron
or American Optical. They closed - like many optical firms across
the world that we have mentioned on these pages - in the 1980s.
However their legacy has been strengthened by the fact that a
certain James Dean decided to wear one of their frames, the Arnel.
Retrospectively, this has given Tart cult status, so much so that
when Julius Tart died in 2008, the brand and all the past patents
and designs were swiftly bought up by a Los Angeles vintage eyewear
dealer and Tart Optical Enterprises was reborn. They began remaking
all of Tart's most iconic designs, which included this model, Bryan.
The design was introduced in the 1950s and continued to be made in
the 60s and 70s - indeed we had a 70s pair recently on these pages.
This though is an original 50s/60s pair - they didn't change over
the turn of the decade - and rare to find these days. And it looks to
have never been worn: we found it unglazed and in new condtion.
The remakes by the new Tart company offered this colour but only in
the 4624, made in Italy. A quick look reveals that they are no longer
offering Bryan, but if they were, their frames start at an eye-watering
$475. This is an American made classic and could be yours for a fraction
of the Italian remake.
product code : k8249 :
Never worn 1950s/60s demi-amber plastic frame
stamped with Tart (TOE shield) logo
Can be glazed with
lenses : n/a
frame : new
fit : very good
face : 124mm
lens width : 44mm (marked on frame)
lens height : 37mm
bridge : 20mm (marked on frame)
arms : 135mm (5½" marked on frame)