Question: About 10 years ago, a friend who collected President John F. Kennedy items gave me two ceramic figurines from her collection. Each about 5¾ inches high, they represent John John and Caroline Kennedy attired in the outfits they wore at their father’s funeral ceremony. Caroline is dressed in a pale blue coat and bonnet and John John, who is saluting, wears a red coat. Both figures are stamped “Inarco Cleveland Ohio.” I am curious about the figures’ age, maker and if they are worth anything. — E.H., Smithville
Answer: The 1964 figurines you describe portray the president’s children as they appeared on Nov. 25, 1963, walking with their mother, first lady Jacqueline Kennedy, to the president’s funeral service. Another ceramic arrangement shows the children with a figural vase featuring a mourning portrait of their mother.
The memorial groups were made by the International Art Ware Corp., also known as the Inarco Co. Founded in 1960 at Cleveland, Ohio, by designer Irwin Garber, the firm imported, created and sold ceramic giftware and decorative objects. In 1986, Inarco moved to Jacksonville, Florida, following its purchase by NAPCO, the National Potteries Corp.
Originally, each figure in the Kennedy memorial groups was sold separately. Over the years, individual prices paid by collectors for many Caroline or John John figures in excellent condition have ranged from $45 to $65. Last year, a Caroline and John John pair sold for $100.
This year, the three-piece set featuring both children with their mother’s portrait vase fetched $350.
Question: My grandmother’s will includes a number of costume jewelry pieces she left to me and I am especially interested in a gold and pearl set. Listed as a “Trifari demi-parure,” it includes a matching necklace, bracelet and clip earrings. I would appreciate information about Trifari, the meaning of “demi-parure” and the set’s present value. — B.C., Voorhees
Answer: Founded in 1918 by Gustav Trifari Sr. and Leo F. Krussman, Trifari originally made rhinestone pins and hair jewelry. In 1925, when hair ornament salesman Carl Fishel joined the company, it became TFK — Trifari, Krussman and Fishel.
From the 1930s through the 1960s, TFK’s elegant, hand-placed, brilliant Austrian crystals designs resembling precious jewelry were popular pieces worn by fashionable women and movie stars.
TFK’s patriotic sterling silver items were favorites during World War II. In 1953 and 1957, first lady Mamie Eisenhower commissioned Trifari to design her Inaugural Ball jewelry. First lady Jacqueline Kennedy later inspired renewed interest in Trifari as both new and vintage collectible jewelry.
A parure is a set of matched jewelry, often six or seven pieces, designed to be worn together. Dating from the second half of the 16th century, parures often include a necklace, bracelet, brooch, tiara, earrings and dress clips. Most demi-parures have only a matching necklace, bracelet and earrings.
Several months ago, a circa-1950s gold-tone and faux pearl parure sold for $112 at auction while many collectible demi-parures can be purchased for less than $50.
Alyce Hand Benham is an antiques broker, appraiser and estate-liquidation specialist. Send questions to: Alyce Benham, Living section, The Press of Atlantic City, 1000 W. Washington Ave., Pleasantville, NJ 08232. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Letters may be used in future columns but cannot be answered individually, and photos cannot be returned.