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Trifari Costume Jewelry
Since the 1920s, Trifari has been one of the mot admired and respected creators of costume jewelry in the USA. The company was founded in the 1910s by Gustavo Trifari, an Italian immigrant from Napoli, whose father was a goldsmith in the old country. Many many high profile people and celebrities have worn Trifari, including Mamie Eisenhower and Madonna.
French designer Alfred Philippe was Trifari’s ‘secret ingredient’ – the company’s chief designer from 1930 – 1968! He originally developed a technique for invisible settings for Van Cleef and Arpels, which he brought to his costume jewelry designs. This level of creaftsmanship had not previously been seen in costume jewelry.
Among Philippe’s many contributions are the Trifari Crown pins from the late 1930s to the 1950s. These became so popular that Trifari incorporated a crown into its mark in about 1937. Authentic Trifari jewelry is typically marked with “Jewels by Trifari,” “TKF” (for Trifari, Krussman & Fishel), or “Trifari,” depending on when it was made.
1940 Trifari ‘Alfred Phillippe’ Pave And Enamel Dark Blue Carnation Bracelet
Rhodium plated base metal, rhinestones, enamelling, in excellent condition, 7″ x 1″, marked Trifari with Crown, Pat Pend
Reference: L. Baker, 50 Years of Collectible Fashion Jewelry 1925-75, p. 95, matching earrings (in pink) pictured. Brunialti, American Costume Jewelry – Art and Industry (2008) Vol 2 p 79, matching pin clip, mentioning a bracelet. Patent is reproduced below (scroll down); designer A Philippe, dated 1940
(Information and image: trifari.com)
Trifari ‘Alfred Philippe’ Flower Pin Clip
This Trifari pin/clip was designed by Alfred Philippe and uses the ‘jelly belly’ form (lucite moulded into a rounded shape), in this case two mounds of lucite, giving it a double jelly belly to represent the shape of a petal. The stem is gold coloured metal with invisibly set emerald sugarloaf rhine stone leaves, with pink cabochon rhinestone berries.
Information on Trifari jewelry: Collector’s Weekly