John Lupia submitted the following information from the online draft of his book of numismatic biographies for this week's installment of his series.
Thanks! As always, this is an excerpt with the full article and bibliography available online. This week's subject is publisher F. M. Trifet. -Editor
Ferdinand Marie Trifet (1848-1899), was born in Paris, France, September 10, 1848, son of Alexander H. Trifet, a native of Belgium, and Ernestine de Villiers Trifet, a
native of Guadalupe, West Indies.
He married on March 12, 1873, Ella F. Sias (1855-), of Ossipee, New Hampshire. They had two children : Grace A. Trifet (1876-), and Louis B. Trifet (1878-).
He came to the United States in 1851 and settled in Brooklyn, New York. In 1856 he went to South America and the West Indies, residing in Havana until 1859, when he returned to
the United States. He lived in Washington. Baltimore, Philadelphia, and New York, but came to Boston in 1865, where he has since resided. He attended school in Havana and
Washington, but most of his education was under a private tutor.
In 1866, at the age of eighteen, he began his business career as importer and dealer in foreign stamps and coins for collectors, now being the longest-established house
in that line in America. As a stamp dealer he published The American Stamp Mercury since October-December 1867. The magazine changed its name to The American Stamp
Mercury and Numismatist but went defunct in 1871. Tiffany No. 11.
He was a member of the so-called "Boston Gang" of stamp forgers creating fantasy stamps selling bogus as genuine. When Ebenezer Locke Mason, Jr., detected his
forgeries and published warnings to collectors in Mason's Coin and Stamp Collector's Magazine, Trifet retaliated in Trifet's American Stamp Mercury and
Numismatist, rudely describing Mason as "amusingly stupid," and regrettably "one of the high-pressure kind of human gas bags." This last remark is regrettable and most
unfortunate insofar as a few uniformed American numismatists not knowing American philatelic history took Trifet's remarks as though they were worthy of merit and besmirched
the name and dignity of Mason as a numismatist and philatelist.
He had a coin auction sale, Catalogue of a collection of American and foreign coins and medals... [Auction sale, Nov. 17, 1869].
In 1880 He lived in Malden, Massachusetts. In the Directory of the City of Malden, 1882, page 131 he is listed as living at 13 Seaview Avenue, Malden, Massachusetts. In
1879 publishing music was added to the stamp business, with the object of furnishing music to the masses of the people in large quantities at small profits. That success attended
this undertaking is shown by the fact that Trifet Editions of music and music books were not figured by hundreds or thousands, but by hundreds of thousands and millions; one book
alone, Harmonized Melodies, had, in 1899, consumed two hundred and seventy-five tons of paper.
Mr. Trifet became a member of Company G, of the Independent Boston Fusiliers, First Regiment, M. V. M., in 1869, and served eight years. During this service he held the
consecutive positions of private, corporal, sergeant, first sergeant, and first lieutenant. He was commissioned first lieutenant of Company G Sept. 6, 1876, and was discharged
June 7, 1877.
Lieut. Trifet joined the Artillery Company Sept. 29, 1879; was third sergeant of infantry in 1889 and adjutant in 1897. He received Masonic degrees in Joseph Warren Lodge, of
Boston, in 1891, and was a life member of that Lodge. He received the Chapter degrees in St. Andrew's Royal Arch Chapter, of Boston, and he was High Priest of that body at the
time of his decease. He was also a member of Boston Commandery, Knights Templars, of the several bodies of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite in Boston, Royal Order of Scotland,
Fusilier Veteran Association, American Philatelic Association, and of other orders.
Lieut. Trifet died of a brain tumor at his residence, No. 39 Allston Street, Dorchester, Sept. 26, 1899. The funeral services were attended by a large delegation from the
Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company.
To read the complete article, see:
* * * * *
TRIFET, FERDINAND MARIE
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