~ Voodoo Priestess Estate ~ ©
Crown Trifari, Trifanium Heart Knot Pin Brooch
A Main Ballroom Altar Find
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If you have come this far, we feel you will find it was worth the wait.
Just over nineteen years have now passed since we were called to do the estate that had been closed up for seventeen years!
The Voodoo Estate!
This type of call usually gets us excited as they are a treasure trove. Located here in Florida, there was no electricity or running water so we rigged our own lighting and in we went. If you have ever seen the Adams Family you will have some idea as to what we were greeted with! Then the attorney handling the liquidation gave us some background. The estate had belonged to an alleged powerful Voodoo Priestess/JooJoo Exorcist, grand daughter of a Marie Laveau, and favored daughter of a Marie Glapion.
These names meant nothing to us, but the late night talk of Voodoo and exorcism in the old mansion did cause some uneasy feelings so we decided to spend the night in a hotel and return in the morning to assess the estate. The rest is history.
Our research has shown that this woman was what she claimed and was indeed descended from a long line of well known Vodoun family originating in New Orleans in the early 1800's. We were pretty unnerved by this until we discovered they were also devout Catholics! Although I have to admit this was unlike any Catholic home we have ever been in and some of the items found inside were a little more than unnerving.
There was no feeling of dread or unwelcome in the mansion, however there was quite a bit of contraband and other items we can or will not sell here.
This is one of a few pieces from this estate we will be listing this week, so check our other listings!
We will, upon the new guardian's request, issue a named Letter of Authenticity with each piece from this estate, complying with the terms set forth to us by the estate's attorney.
Some Back Story
Found on the Main Altar in the Main Ballroom, which was the largest if not the most ornate of all the altars in this estate. It was here in the Main Ballroom that the large ceremonial gatherings took place.
There is no inventory or journal mention of this Trifari pin that we have been able to cross reference and attribute. This is not unusual as our own attempts at inventory, identification and attributing the items found at this altar has proven a monumental task. There were piles of items that had apparently been tossed at altar and left to accumulate over the years. We literally had to to shovel them up in some areas to cart them out of there. Most of these items have gone unattributed due to lack of mention in her journals and inventories.
We believe they were most likely a gift offering, brought or worn by a visiting practitioner, as were many of the items left at this altar that we have been able to attribute.
The Guest Book to this altar room has thousands of entries which read like a who's who of metaphysical practitioners, dating back to 1910 with a total of 6842 from 1979 to the ninety days following Her death.
The Crown Trifari, Trifanium Heart Knot Pin Brooch
As the title implies, this is a Crown Trifari marked, 'Trifanium Heart Knot pin/Brooch, circa 1950. It is in excellent overall condition with no signs of damage or repair.
It is marked with the the Trifari Crown Mark which makes its date of production 1940-1960. We are calling it late 1950's.
The pin measures approximately 1 15/16" x 1 3/8" x 1/4", and weigh 10.9 grams.
Our own research revealed Trifari had been founded by an Italian-immigrant son of a Napoli goldsmith named Gustavo Trifari in the 1910's. Trifari jewelry has been worn by such celebrity clients as Mamie Eisenhower and Madonna.
Authentic Trifari jewelry is marked, "Jewels by Trifari," "TKF" (for Trifari, Krussman & Fishel), or "Trifari," depending on when it was made. In the 1930's, Trifari produced custom designs for numerous celebrities as a marketing program to boost the status of Trifari Jewelry.
Trifari is still highly collectible due to the timeless designs of the French designer Alfred Philippe, the company’s chief designer from 1930 until 1968. Trifari used the invisible settings for stones, which Philippe originally developed for Van Cleef & Arpels. This added a high benchmark of craftsmanship and technique that had not been previously seen in costume jewelry. These hand-set pieces of jewelry imitated the look of fine jewelry.
The company developed its own non-tarnishing, gold-tone alloy named Trifanium. Due to the rationing during World War II, Trifari was unable to use base metals in their production. The use sterling silver during wartime production tripled prices for Trifari products, but that did not hurt sales.
Trifari attempted to go back to using less costly, maintenance-free base metals, metal, but their clientele was now used to and wanted silver. To hype the cheaper base metal, products the company started an advertising campaign of the "revolutionary" new metal called Trifanium, which was a contrived name for their basic metal products.
The campaign worked. In 1953, Mamie Eisenhower wore Trifari jewelry to the inaugural ball. Alfred Philippe designed an "orientique" pearl choker necklace with matching three-stranded bracelet and earrings, each laden with eight pearls to match the First Lady’s pink satin gown which was studded with 2,000 rhinestones. 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 jewelry for her second inaugural ball in 1957.
Trifari's Crown Symbol over the "T" was a type of logo. It appeared on their boxes, tags, cards and was stamped onto most of their pieces of jewelry produced from the 1940's through the 1960s. When sellers identify a pieces a "Crown Trifari" it means the piece was stamped with this symbol (see photos below).
During the 1970s the crown was removed from this hallmark and replaced with a slightly embellished typeface above the copyright symbol. In 1994, Trifari became part of the Monet Group, which was acquired by Liz Claiborne in 2000.
It is certainly a nicely aged vintage Trifari heart with an extraordinary provenance that is much nicer than the photographs are able to depict.
We have been contacted and visited by a number of people who were interested in the items from this estate since our first batch was listed. Among the buyers have been known psychics and practitioners. More than one, after adorning themselves or handling their purchase, stated "this is a woman of power!" Many of our customers, after receiving items from this estate have reported dream contacts and other unexplained phenomenon.
Unusual, authentic Voodoo Priestess Estate piece and at a bargain price!
This is truly a rare opportunity to own anything with attributes to this estate.
The majority of this estate is now gone. Most of what we had left, and it was considerable, has been split up and sold to a couple of private, foreign collector practitioners and will never be available to the public again. We made the decision to do this as we have had some pretty strange visits from even stranger individuals and there have been enough unexplained phenomenon going on in the warehouse where her things were kept that many of our employees refused to go in there.
The pieces offered and sold here are some of the few remaining pieces that will ever be offered to the public.
Nice addition to any collection, wardrobe, altar, or decor, displays really well.
Really doesn't get any better than this.
There are 8 photographs, so please give them time to load, and enjoy the listing.
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