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Catherine Popesco Jewelry Guide

Looking for Catherine Popesco Jewelry? Learn about the history, materials used, jewelry marks, and collectible pieces in this guide.

Catherine Popesco creates exquisite jewelry that blends contemporary aesthetics with traditional French craftsmanship. Each creation is a masterpiece that exudes elegance and sophistication, capturing the essence of modernism and French charm.

Catherine Popesco Jewelry History

Catherine Popesco, a Parisian, discovered antique jewelry workshops in the historic Marais area of Paris. These workshops, dating back 200 years, kept the original molds, tools, and dies crafted by artisans during France's golden eras of Le Belle Époque, Art Nouveau, and Art Deco. Artists such as Lalique, Mucha, Galle, and Picasso originally designed these artifacts. Catherine used these priceless pieces to create antique-inspired jewelry that is still rendered from these molds and stampings today.

Catherine Popesco founded La Vie Parisienne in her Los Angeles garage in 1979. She later opened a workshop known as Au Bout de Reves in the Loire Valley, France, where she trained skilled artisans in French jewelry-making. Her American workshop is now located in Santa Monica, California, where it has been for over thirty years.

Pieces are made of "old silver" a unique French process of laying sterling silver or 14K gold plate over a copper base. By following traditional French techniques, Catherine Popesco allows each piece to exhibit the intricate details of these historical designs. Pieces are new but have a wonderfully romantic vintage feel steeped in the tradition of exquisite craftsmanship.

La Vie Parisienne combines classic European findings and a selection of historical American pieces, each carefully rendered from original molds and stampings. Each piece is meticulously handcrafted with vintage-inspired settings and adorned with genuine Swarovski crystals. The enamel is painstakingly applied using the original colors Catherine created.

The company's website describes their jewelry as, "Not a reproduction but a continuation of history; Catherine and her design team combine these actual, historical parts creating a timeless collection rooted in history." La Vie Parisienne by Catherine Popesco is designed and manufactured in France and assembled in the USA.

In addition to designing jewelry, Catherine is a painter and has successfully exhibited her works. Additionally, she translates and writes scripts for musicals. She was nominated for the Tony Awards in 2001 for her musical Jane Eyre, which she translated into English and adapted for the American audience as a musical called La Vie on Bleu, presented at the Walnut Street Theater in Philadelphia in 2002.

Catherine Popesco Jewelry Identification 

Her first works didn't have marks, and the stamp Catherine Popesco France appeared later.

Popesco's early marked pieces are marked "France" in addition to her name and are designed to resemble vintage jewelry from the early 20th century.

From the front, they look like antiques, but upon closer inspection, many feature a clear coating over the enamel and metal and molded metalwork that simulates the look of marcasites. Some pieces are enhanced with colored rhinestones. The back of the jewelry indicates a newer finish. Another French firm, Pierre Bex, made similar coated styles, but the back finish is usually textured.

More recent jewelry from La Vie Parisienne by Catherine Popesco varies widely in style. Some display more vintage characteristics, while others fall clearly into the fashion jewelry category. Styles range from bracelets with stones that look quite contemporary to pieces with many vintage-style components like metal stampings and faux pearls.

Popesco's designs are primarily freeform, but she has also made some figural jewelry, including brooches shaped like dragonflies, butterflies, palm trees, and fleur-de-lis earrings. She is also known for small vintage-style accessories such as miniature jeweled picture frames and perfume bottles with filigree metalwork.

The company sells wholesale to boutiques and department stores, as well as directly marketing jewelry to consumers through the
La Vie Parisienne website.

Catherine Popesco Jewelry Marks

Jewelry from this company bears the Catherine Popesco mark in various forms. Some signature plaques display her name with a conjoined CP logo, while others feature the CP logo with the location "France." Items that come with the original hang tag show the interlocking CP logo along with the company name "La Vie Parisienne" in stylized lettering.

Catherine France Popesco Mark
Catherine Popesco France Mark
Catherine Popesco Jewelry Mark

Materials Used in Catherine Popesco Jewelry

  • Silver - "Old Silver" is a French plating method that uses sterling silver on a copper or brass base.
  • Gold – A 14 carat gold antiqued finish over a copper or brass base.
  • Crystals – The finest European crystal is used.
  • Pearls – European pearls with a unique crystal core and innovative pearl coating.
  • Enamel – The enameling process follows traditional French methods that were developed at the turn of the century. Each piece is carefully hand crafted to create an array of colors.
  • Chains – Brass plated in either “Old Silver” or an antiqued 14 carat gold.

Favorite Collectibles

I've found some fantastic vintage collectibles from Catherine Popesco that you might be interested in. These items are handpicked from trusted Etsy and eBay shops with great reviews and clear photos of maker marks. Please take a look and let me know what you think!


Catherine Popesco Crystal Bracelet

Catherine Popesco Crystal Bracelet from VintageVogueTreasure on Etsy

Catherine Popesco Crystal Bracelet from VintageVogueTreasure on Etsy

Fabulous Catherine Popesco crystal bracelet with six prong-set faceted oval Swarovski crystal stones and a matte gold finish. The book chain style 8" adjustable chain features clear crystal stones that measure 3/4". Comes with a Catherine Popesco oval cartouche hangtag and is in wonderful vintage condition. Made in France.


Catherine Popesco Vintage Deco Butterfly Brooch

Catherine Popesco France Vintage Deco Butterfly Brooch from designstylesmore on Etsy

Catherine Popesco France Vintage Deco Butterfly Brooch from designstylesmore on Etsy

Catherine Popesco France Vintage Deco Butterfly Gold Enamel Rhinestone Pin Brooch from pre-2000 in great pre-owned condition with few light scratches visible under close inspection. 


Vintage Catherine Popesco Filigree Brooch Pendant

Vintage Catherine Popesco Filigree Brooch Pendant from DustyRoseAntique on Etsy

Vintage Catherine Popesco Filigree Brooch Pendant from DustyRoseAntique on Etsy

This is a vintage necklace from the 1990s. It features a beautiful round filigree brooch pendant and is made by Catherine Popesco France. The necklace chain measures 16 inches while the pendant has a diameter of 45mm. This is a rare find that can be worn both as a brooch and a necklace.


Vintage Catherine Popesco Enamel Brooch

Vintage Catherine Popesco Enamel Brooch from MagpieVintageBazaar on Etsy

Vintage Catherine Popesco Enamel Brooch from MagpieVintageBazaar on Etsy

This is a stunning Catherine Popesco brooch from the 1970s with an art deco style. It is made of purple, yellow, and gold enamel with rhinestones that sparkle beautifully. The brooch is approximately 3.5 cm wide and has a secure pin. On the back, you can see the maker's initials and "France" clearly signed. It is in excellent condition and ready to wear, making it a great accessory to complement any outfit.


Catherine Popesco Pearl and Enamel Floral Brooch Pin

Catherine Popesco Pearl and Enamel Floral Brooch Pin from Working925Jewelry on Etsy

Catherine Popesco Pearl and Enamel Floral Brooch Pin from Working925Jewelry on Etsy

Since testing Pearl can potentially cause damage through a scratch test, the price of this item is based on its design value rather than the perceived value of the gemstone. It's possible that the Pearl may be manmade rather than naturally created.


Catherine Popesco Vintage Art Nouveau Brooch

Catherine PopescoArt Nouveau Brooch from VintagesparkleGB on Etsy

Catherine PopescoArt Nouveau Brooch from VintagesparkleGB on Etsy

Catherine Popesco Designer vintage brooch from France, created in the 1970s, features a vibrant mix of teal green and blue, with rhinestone embellishments and scroll work inspired by Art Nouveau design.


Vintage Catherine Popesco Flower Brooch Pin

Vintage Catherine Popesco Flower Brooch from Thecherishedweb on Etsy

Vintage Catherine Popesco Flower Brooch from Thecherishedweb on Etsy

This is a beautiful flower-shaped brooch signed by Catherine Popesco from the 1970s. The petals are made of yellow and black enamel with clear and black paste stones. The back of the brooch is signed "Catherine Popesco France". It measures 1 & 5/8ths inches (4.3 cm) across and fastens with an old trombone clasp. It is in excellent vintage condition with minimal wear.


Vintage Catherine Popesco Mid-Century Rhinestone Brooches Set

Vintage Catherine Popesco Rhinestone Brooches from astor_galleries on eBay

Vintage Catherine Popesco Rhinestone Brooches from astor_galleries on eBay

From an estate sale: A set of two mid-century Rhinestone Brooches signed by Catherine Popesco France. The larger brooch measures 1.85"x 2.75", while the smaller one measures 0.75" x 2.65". Both are in excellent condition with minor signs of wear. 


La Vie Parisienne Catherine Popesco Bee Coin Pendant Necklace

La Vie Parisienne Catherine Popesco Bee Coin Necklace from talich on eBay

La Vie Parisienne Catherine Popesco Bee Coin Necklace from talich on eBay

A double-sided bee coin pendant plated with 14K gold dangles from an oval linked chain accented with sparkling Swarovski crystal. The pendant measures about 1" across and features the inscription "AMOUR" on one side. The chain is about 16" long with a 2" extender and has a spring ring clasp closure. This chic and elegant piece of jewelry is perfect for wearing alone or layering. Handcrafted in France and the USA by La Vie Parisienne Jewelry by Catherine Popesco.


Conclusion

We hope you found this article enjoyable! Catherine Popesco has utilized French artistic heritage and style to craft unique jewelry pieces that capture the essence of France's history, design, imagination, and spirit. If you have any questions, feel free to leave them in the comments section below.

Happy Vintage Hunting! 
Andrea

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