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Bramble & Lily

Trifari Champagne Gold Tone Barrel Necklace with Extender

Trifari Champagne Gold Tone Barrel Necklace with Extender

Regular price £45.00 GBP
Regular price Sale price £45.00 GBP
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Trifari Champagne Gold Tone Barrel Necklace comprising barrel shaped beads scooped on four sides and alternating with decorative rondelles. The chain is 62cm long with an extender of 6cm finished with a gold ball. This lovely necklace has a hook clasp stamped TRIFARI and weighs 56g.

Trifari was founded in New York during the early 1910s by Gustavo Trifari, a descendant of a family of jewellers from Napoli, Italy). In 1925 he partnered with Leo Krussman and Carl Fishel (associates in the hair accessory business), who recognized the popularity for affordable everyday costume jewellery represented a far better opportunity than their current hair accessory business. Initially called Trifari, Krussman and Fishel Jewelry (T.K.F.), the trio eventually shortened their brand’s name to Trifari in order to evoke the romance of Gustavo’s native Italy.

Authentic Trifari jewellery is typically marked with 'Jewels by Trifari', 'TKF' (for Trifari, Krussman & Fishel), or 'Trifari', depending on when it was made. The hiring of French designer Alfred Philippe as head designer in 1930 was pivotal to Trifari’s success. A master craftsman, who had worked for some of the finest jewellery manufacturers in the world, Philippe set about establishing the same high quality standards in both materials and craftsmanship in the design of costume jewellery and he trained other Trifari artisans to do the same. The settings were delicate, crystals were hand set and 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 jewellery.

Beginning in the 1930s, Trifari worked with Broadway and Hollywood producers to craft custom designs for famous actors, a clever move to boost its jewellery’s status. But the true success of Trifari jewellery, and the reason for its collectibility today, is most often credited to French designer Alfred Philippe, the company’s chief designer from 1930 until 1968. His use of invisible settings for stones, which he had first used on some of the fine jewellery previously, added a level of craftsmanship and technique that had not been previously seen in costume jewellery.

Such hand-set pieces often imitated the look of fine jewellery, using sterling silver or vermeil, a gold plated finish, alongside other faux materials like paste gemstones and imitation moonstone, chalcedony, and pearls. Among Philippe’s countless contributions are the Trifari Crown brooches from the late 1930s to the 1950s. These crowns were so popular that Trifari incorporated a crown into its signature mark around 1937. Some of the Trifari Crown pins feature eye catching, brightly coloured cabochons, while others are composed entirely of clear crystal rhinestones for a monochromatic effect. Naturally, a series of Coronation Gems was produced in 1953 to celebrate the ascendancy of Elizabeth II to the British throne. Like all manufacturers during World War II, Trifari was unable to use metal in its products due to rationing. This forced Trifari to switch to sterling silver during the war, which tripled prices for Trifari products (although that didn’t seem to hurt sales).

Post-war, Trifari wanted to go back to less costly, maintenance-free metal, but its audience was now used to silver. To hype the return to a cheaper base metal, the company began advertising a 'revolutionary' new metal called Trifanium, which was a made up name for their basic metal, which unlike silver, it could be given a no polish rhodium finish. The campaign worked so well that by 1953, Mamie Eisenhower felt perfectly comfortable to break with tradition and wear costume jewellery to the inaugural ball. To match the First Lady’s pink satin gown (studded with 2,000 rhinestones), Alfred Philippe designed an 'orientique' pearl choker necklace with matching three stranded bracelet and earrings, each laden with eight pearls. Three sets were made, one for the First Lady, a second for the Smithsonian, and a third for the Trifari archives. Mrs. Eisenhower was so pleased with the ensemble that she had Trifari make jewellery for her second inaugural ball in 1957.

Meanwhile, Trifari, Krussman & Fishel, Inc., was waging a courtroom battle against Charel, accusing the company of plagiarising its copyrighted designs. Trifari made history in 1955 when the lawsuit was settled in its favour, with the judge finding that Charel had indeed infringed on Trifari’s copyrighted artwork, even though Trifari had not filed a formal patent for the design. Going forward, many costume jewellery companies began imprinting their work with the copyright symbol, ©, to help protect their original creations. During the 1970s, Trifari removed the crown from its logo and switched to a slightly embellished typeface above a copyright symbol, which it used until 1990's when it changed to a plain text signature and a small trademark symbol. In 1994, Trifari became part of the Monet Group, which was acquired by Liz Claiborne in 2000.

This beautiful piece of jewellery began its journey many years ago and may have some very minor imperfections collected along its travels. By purchasing this piece you will investing in a brand new chapter of its story as well as making a positively conscious choice on sustainable fashion. Vintage jewellery for the beautiful you on our beautiful planet.

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