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Trifari

Costume jewelry maker Trifari is widely loved for its fine craftsmanship and complex designs for necklaces, brooches and other jewelry and accessories.

The company was formed in New York during the early 1920s, when its partners Gustavo Trifari (who descended from a family of jewelers), Leo Krussman and Carl Fishel (business associates in hair-ornament manufacturing) recognized, as other designers during the Art Deco era such as Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel had, that fashion trends for affordable jewelry for everyday wear represented an opportunity (and that the popularity of shorter hairstyles didn’t bode well for their haircomb business).

Initially called Trifari, Krussman and Fishel Jewelry (T.K.F.), the trio eventually shortened their brand’s name, at the suggestion of an advertising professional, to Trifari in order to evoke the romance of Gustavo’s native Italy.

The hiring of French designer Alfred Philippe as head designer in 1930 was pivotal to Trifari’s success. A master craftsman who had worked with both Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, Philippe set about establishing the same high-quality standards of materials and craftsmanship in the design of fashion jewelry and trained other Trifari artisans to do the same. Settings were delicate; crystals were hand set; designs, which sometimes featured dazzling floral motifs or exquisite depictions of marine life, were sophisticated and elegant, having both the look and feel of fine jewelry. First Lady Mamie Eisenhower wore a Trifari parure of faux pearls to her husband’s presidential inauguration in 1953 and Trifari glass pearls to his inaugural ball in 1957.

Before retiring in 1968, Philippe created Trifari’s most recognizable designs. In the 1930s, when the company was custom-making accessories for the stars of Broadway musicals, it was the crown motif: These brooches became so often identified with the brand that a crown was eventually incorporated into the trademark. In the 1940s, the “Jelly Bellies” inspired affection as well as knockoffs; these were animals, birds and insects sporting a “belly” of clear Lucite. Clip-Mates were another favorite and a technical marvel — two dress clips that, joined together, created a brooch.

Find a wide range of vintage Trifari jewelry on 1stDibs.

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Creator: Trifari
Vintage Costume Jewelry Set by Trifari, circa 1960
By Trifari
Located in Southampton, NY
A stunning vintage set including necklace, brooch and earring set created from gold tone metal and sparkling clear rhinestone navettes. Marked 'Trifari' with copyright symbol and cro...
Category

Late 20th Century American Trifari

Materials

Crystal

Vintage Trio 1960s Black White Orange Enamel Flower Brooches One Crown Trifari
By Trifari
Located in Topeka, KS
For you, a trio of vintage 1960s enamel flower brooches. One black and gold-tone crown Trifari daisy, a white unsigned gardenia, and an orange and gold-tone unsigned petal flower. Th...
Category

Mid-20th Century Mid-Century Modern Trifari

Materials

Metal

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Previously Available Items
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Trifari furniture for sale on 1stDibs

Trifari furniture is available for sale on 1stDibs. These distinctive objects are frequently made of metal and designed with extraordinary care. There are many options in our Trifari collection of furniture, although brown editions of this piece are particularly popular. In-stock we have 3 vintage editions of these items, while there is also 0 modern edition to choose from. Many of Trifari's original furniture was created in the mid-century modern style in the United States during the 20th century. If you are looking for additional options, many customers also consider furniture from Swank Inc., Playboy and Banthrico Inc.. Prices for Trifari furniture can vary depending on size, time period and other attributes. 1stDibs's price starts at $275 and tops out at $980, while pieces like these can sell for $495 on average.
Questions About Trifari
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Yes, Trifari was always diligent in marking its jewelry, and the mark has evolved over the years. There were a few pieces in the early years that went unmarked, but those pieces are extremely rare. Costume jewelry maker Trifari is widely beloved for its fine craftsmanship and complex designs for necklaces, brooches and other accessories. On 1stDibs, you can find a collection of authentic Trifari jewelry pieces from some of the world’s top sellers.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    Designer Alfred Philippe was the head designer for Trifari from 1930 until 1968. Philippe was also a designer for Cartier, Van Cleef and Arples and became very popular and well-known for his creations. One of his big fans was the First Lady of the United States, Mamie Eisenhower. Shop a collection of authentic Trifari jewelry and brooches from some of the world’s top boutiques on 1stDibs.
  • 1stDibs ExpertApril 5, 2022
    One of the most highly sought after vintage jewelry brands, Trifari was in operation from the 1910s until the year 2000. After a long and colorful history, Trifari continues to make jewelry as a Liz Claiborne subsidiary. On 1stDibs, get the real deal and shop vintage Trifari jewelry from some of the top sellers on 1stDibs.

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