Jan 25, 2011

There's Nothing Like a Trifari

By Kim - CranberryManor

Trifari Jewelry has always been a name synonymous with creativity, quality, and glamour. Even the jewelry made in modern times is of quality and style, and collectible in its own right.

The company can trace its beginnings back to 1910 when Italian immigrant, Gustavo Trifari, and his uncle began producing jewelry under the name Trifari & Trifari. Gustavo, 2 years later, decided to branch out on his own under the brand name Trifari. Continuing to produce high quality, costume jewelry, that rivaled the real thing, Gustavo met his partner & sales manager, Leo Krussman in 1917. Trifari & Krussman was later formed in 1918. When top salesman Carl Fishel joined the company in 1923, the name changed again to Trifari, Krussman, and Fishel, and the trademark "KTF" was born (the T in the middle is larger than the other 2 letters, denoting the senior partner, Trifari).

The 1930s & 1940s was the grand age of costume jewelry for many design houses, Trifari included. This was the time that Alfred Phillipe joined the company as head designer, producing some of the most outstanding jewelry the company has seen. Very, very collectible, Phillipe designs are elegant, glamourous, and timeless.

Some of the company's most popular, and most collected, designers, outside of Alfred Phillipe, include Jean Paris, Andre Boeut, and Diane Love. Pieces by these designers still command some of the highest prices Trifari jewelry can bring.

Even old magazine and fashion advertisements form a very popular collecting genre of Trifari Jewelry. For a wonderful selection of old Trifari ads, please visit Morning Glory's Trifari Ad Page.

Trifari Jewelry is marked, most commonly with what is referred to as the "Crown T" mark. Hallmarks w/a © indicate a production date of post-1955. For an extensive description of Trifari marks, please see Illusion Jewels Trifari Section.

Trifari became part of the Monet group in the 90s, and is today owned by Liz Claiborne and in off shore production.

My personal collection includes a wonderful array of Trifari figurals, and my quest is to acquire each piece in the specific lines, from the pearlescent Fantasia Collection to the oh so cute Pets Collection.

The Etsy Vintage Team offers a wonderful collection of Trifari Jewels - please click here.


TheFancyLamb said...

So interesting! I am dying to learn more about vintage jewelry and this is a step in the write direction. Thanks for sharing this article!

Sarah said...

Great information. I will post this on my blog!

JenZee09's 201Treasures Etsy Shop said...

This is great. I really need to learn more about vintage jewels. Thanks for all the great information. I will pass this on!

nora - treasurehuntvintage said...

Very informative and succinct. THANK YOU!