Since its beginnings in the 1910s, Trifari has been one of the most respected and admired producers of costume jewelry in the United States. Established and managed by the Trifari family until 1975, the company was purchased and run by a succession of owners after this date and now operates off-shore.
Vintage Trifari jewelry remains very collectible, due in great part to the work of Alfred Philippe, their chief designer from 1930 right through until 1968.
Before his work with Trifari, Alfred Philippe designed for Van Cleef & Arpels, developing a technique for invisible settings. His use of this technique at Trifari brought a level of craftsmanship which had not previously been seen in costume jewelry.
Below are some Alfred Philippe designs, and on the next page, more Trifari pieces. The materials used are enamel and rhinestone, usually applied onto a base metal – although as metal was needed during World War 2, sterling silver was used for some years during the 1940s and 1950s.
1 This piece is offered by Cora Dove Vintage on ebay.
“Part of the Trifari Coronation Gems collection, this crown was patented in March of 1949 by its designer Alfred Philippe (#153,020) and released in 1953 to honor the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II. Any piece from this collection is rare, especially the crown”.
Alfred Phillippe introduced the crown motif in the 1930s. It became so popular that a crown was incorporated in the Trifari mark.
2. Trifari ‘Alfred Philippe’ Yellow Enamel Brooch – shared by ana-rosa on Tumblr
3. Alfred Philippe, large flower brooch, offered by ‘stunningfinds2016‘ on ebay
4. Trifari ‘Alfred Philippe’ Pave and Enamel Corn on the Cob Pin Clip – sold by N&N Vintage Costume Jewelry
Next page – the very popular ‘jelly-belly’ pieces